renounce

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, International Real Estate
Glen Roberts: Why I Renounced My Citizenship
By Anthony Wile - November 30, 2014

Introduction: A self-described "techno-geek," Glen Roberts is a programmer, webmaster and blogger as well as the author of How to Renounce Your US Citizenship in Two Easy Steps. The book was written as a guide to cut through opinions and present the requirements and process in a direct and straightforward manner. Glen renounced his US citizenship after living in various Central and South American countries for more than a decade. He is now a happily stateless person.

Daily Bell: You've written a book, How to Renounce Your US Citizenship in Two Easy Steps. Tell us about it.

Glen Roberts: I wrote the book as a guide for those who have an interest in renouncing their US citizenship. It is designed to cut through all the opinions and discussions and present the requirements and the process in a direct and straightforward manner. For that reason, I included a copy of all the forms that I completed for the process. You can see exactly how little information is required. I also included a checklist of things to do to complete the process.

A brief history of myself and my experiences renouncing are included. That keeps it interesting and, to my surprise, a number of people who I don't believe have ever imagined living outside the US, much less renouncing their citizenship, have enjoyed the book.

My book should help you make the decision if you are concerned about any of the issues related to the process. However, the underlying choice is yours alone.

Daily Bell: Why did you write it?

Glen Roberts: After I renounced my US citizenship I made two observations. First, people came to me asking for information on the process but the conversations always got bogged down with angry rants about various US policies. I can't say that I disagree with any of those concerns but they are irrelevant to the process. In fact, by renouncing your US citizenship you are able to simply step outside all that drama. Second, what I read online and in newspaper articles was again overshadowing the process and the empowerment the process gives the individual with the political complaints.

I chose to write a statement regarding why I was renouncing. It is completely optional; there is no need to discuss why you are renouncing. The "why" is not a part of the process. You need only express your intention and that is done via taking the oath of renunciation. I included a complete copy of my statement in the book. I began it this way: "I think at the first moment of looking at a blank screen to begin writing this, the thought came to mind that this is 'supposed' to be some kind of in-depth, angry rant about all the real or perceived 'injustices' of the United States at a personal as well as global level." I don't think that point can be stated strongly enough. Renunciation is a quick exit from all that drama.

I wanted to share my story so those pondering the prospect would be able to feel comfortable making the choice.

Daily Bell: Take us through renunciation.

Glen Roberts: The most important part, of course, is organizing your affairs and then making the decision. Those are not parts of the process I can help with. I think it is best if one renounces because they believe it is best for them, not because they are upset with the current president or any of the other millions of complaints one may have with the United States. The media focuses on those who are enraged with FATCA. Renunciation is much bigger than FATCA.

I would recommend that before renouncing because of FATCA or any other injustice perpetrated by the US, that you first get a feel for how your life will be better without US citizenship (aside from the lightened paperwork load). I personally see the tax side as a positive side effect, but not my underlying motivation.

I felt that I had changed as a person from when I left the United States over a decade ago. I felt that I had outgrown the US, and carrying the nationality around with me was heavy baggage. Though I could have renounced at anytime, it took me nearly 11 years to come to the point of feeling it was the right time.

I scheduled an appointment with the US embassy. Their online system offers few choices, so I selected "other." The day before my appointment, I decided to email and let them know why I was coming. That resulted in a big letdown. I was informed that no one was in the embassy that week who could handle the process.

Originally, I was not going to present a statement. However, the night before my appointment, I thought that maybe the meeting would be a vicious conflict. I would be meeting with an officer of the United States and telling him I no longer want to be a member of his "club." Not only that, but I didn't plan to be a member of any political "club." I would in a sense be stepping completely out of the system. I've read some blog posts that suggest if you try doing that you will be told you are crazy and sent away, quite possibly in less polite terms.

So I decided that it would be best to prepare a written statement, and the result was a one-page letter explaining how I had changed, how I felt that now the United States was a foreign country to me. I also made reference to changes in my physical appearance during my time outside the USA, as show by my passport photos taken six years ago. I went from appearing unkept, angry and overweight to shining health.

When I arrived at the embassy I was presented with various forms to fill out. I had tried to complete most of them at home, but was caught a little off-guard. After completing them I was asked to wait. After a short wait, I was called to the window by the US consul. He greeted me by saying, "I see life has been good to you in MERCOSUR," clearly recognizing the change in my physical appearance. Of course, the changes were much deeper.

We had a brief discussion. He then read me the required "warning" and an appointment was scheduled for about ten days later for the renunciation ceremony. I should add that this first meeting is often referred to as an "intensive interview." The forms showing exactly what information you need to provide and the "warning" are included in my book so you can be prepared.

The renunciation ceremony involved a long wait until I was called to the window. Then the vice consul reviewed all the papers, noted that he had to read me the warning, too, (as he had to sign that he had read it to me). After he completed that he handed me the Oath of Renunciation (also included in my book) and asked me to raise my right hand and read it. At that moment I was an American citizen. As I completed the Oath I was no longer an American. We each signed two original copies of all the documents, and I was asked to wait.

After a short wait, I was called back to the window and presented with my US passport canceled, and a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States, signed by the vice consul with the US embassy seal affixed. That was June 21, 2013. That day, I entered the US embassy as an American citizen and left not only not as an American, but without any nationality at all.

Ultimately, the paperwork is submitted to Washington for final approval, the only requirement being that you were a US citizen and that you took the Oath voluntarily with the intention to lose your citizenship. That approval took nearly 15 months. I recently heard from another ex-American who just completed the process in Montevideo, Uruguay and it was less than a month from his Oath to approved certificate. He also had made the choice to become stateless.

Daily Bell: How did you feel afterwards?

Glen Roberts: I felt lighter. Some friends even said I looked thinner, though I hadn't lost any weight physically. I would say that it was a spiritual rebirth. I simply died and was reborn without all of the American baggage. I no longer have any moral, legal, financial or spiritual obligation to answer for the deeds of the United States.

Daily Bell: Why didn't you claim another state before you renounced?

Glen Roberts: I think that in my experiences living outside the USA for a decade, I came to see life as a need to find peace within ourselves. Taking an allegiance to a country, a group of political leaders, is inherently contrary to that. I have seen many write that one's identity and even their self-esteem comes from that allegiance (which is usually involuntary) to the State. I believe that our identity and self-esteem are inherently and solely our own. We are created by a bio-spiritual system, not a political one. Our identity and self-esteem come to us from our spiritual essence combined with our experiences of life. We are creatures of the earth, not minions of some group of so-called "leaders." The benefits of joining a "club" is for the leaders of that club, not the individual members.

Daily Bell: What do you think of nationalities anyway?

Glen Roberts: A better question to start with would be, "what is nationality to begin with?" For most people in the world, nationality is simply an involuntary allegiance to a group of political leaders, organized by geography, membership in a "club" that says it is for the benefit of its members, yet in reality offers nothing. This allegiance, though completely void of free will, is often so strong that citizens will choose to die and/or kill for their "leaders." As well, the leaders make use of that connection and often force their citizens to kill or be killed on their behalf.

Within each nationality the citizens are presented with one kind of system or another for the selection of their leaders and choices on a variety of issues. Of course, in some places those choices are extremely limited. In other places, the choices appear to be completely free and across a wide spectrum of issues. One might describe these differences as the "bad" to the "good" countries.

The "good" countries seem intent on forcing their will upon the "bad" countries. The reality of the "good" countries, the democratic countries, I believe, is that although the citizens vote and are therefore "in control" of it, the choices are actually very limited and result in nothing more than ever-increasing chaos and drama.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, in part, "no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality." I would ask how many people in the world can actually change their nationality? If one actually had that right, then each and every person would have a viable opportunity to do so. As a practical matter we are all stuck with the involuntary allegiances we received at birth. We rally behind the concept of free will, while bound to the realities of the State.

Nationality seems best described as a tool which serves best to keep the people of the world engaged in petty dramas within their country and internationally. That keeps people so distracted that no one is able to live in co-respect with their fellow mankind or find personal peace for themselves.

Daily Bell: What do you think of the passport system generally? What does the system do and why? How old is it?

Glen Roberts: A passport seems to serve two purposes. One is to identify an international traveler and two, to identify one as a citizen of a particular nation. There are probably some practical reasons for such a travel document. However, it might be best if travel documents were issued by an international authority so that individual countries would be unable to restrict international travel of their citizens.

Daily Bell: Is the passport system evolving? Is it going to be harder to travel in the future?

Glen Roberts: Because a passport as a travel document is issued by the country that a person is a citizen of, it gives that country power, control over the ability of its citizens to travel internationally. The large countries certainly appear to be on the track of more rules and regulations. There is some talk about the US deny passports, too, refusing to renew them, and even possibly revoking them if someone owes back taxes above a certain amount.

Daily Bell: Why would nations want to restrict travel?

Glen Roberts: As a child in the United States, I learned that the United States was special, unlike other countries, because of all the liberty and freedom offered its citizens. Yet as an American citizen I was prohibited from visiting Cuba, or even purchasing their products in other countries, for example Cuban cigars. The US sees that embargo as some kind of punishment for the misdeeds of Cuba some 50 years ago.

As a US citizen with my involuntary fidelity to the State, it would have been morally corrupt, not to mention a crime for me to visit Cuba or even purchase a cigar at a major shopping center in Asuncion, Paraguay. If the United States has a problem with Cuba, I think it would be better to show by example a better system than attempting to impose "our" will upon them.

Maybe the underlying problem of travel restrictions is more a fear that one could discover their underlying allegiance to their country is not so strong after they have experienced the world and the many cultures and political systems, and found friends in all these strange and foreign lands.

Daily Bell: Should you hold more than one passport?

Glen Roberts: Many feel it is important to have more than one passport. I met one person who said he had six or seven. The advantage is that if one country becomes restrictive another one may give you more latitude. But at the same time, you will have an allegiance, an obligation to each country you hold a passport from. It could include military and/or tax obligations among others. Though many countries at this time don't seem to have difficult obligations, you will be affected by any changes they make in the future. Depending on your views, you may be accepting a moral or spiritual burden by taking an allegiance, to something you are not in complete agreement with.

It is a personal choice and I would focus more on what you are seeking to attain than what you are seeking to avoid.

Daily Bell: Should you hold NO passports?

Glen Roberts: Again, it is not for me to recommend this or not. I believe most people in the world don't hold a passport. Most Americans don't have a passport and have not visited a foreign country. That goes for most other countries, too. I have met many people who have never been out of their hometown, be it New York, Montevideo, or Asuncion.

Whether you should hold a nationality is a much more important question. Of course, without a nationality you cannot have a passport. However, there are some travel documents available for people in such a situation. There are also some countries that issue passports that don't convey nationality. I am in the process of obtaining an appropriate travel document.

There are very few people who chose to given up nationality completely. Some of them are very well known. For example, Albert Einstein renounced his nationality and remained stateless for five years. Karl Marx renounced his nationality at age of 27 and remained stateless until his death, as did Friedrich Nietzsche; he renounced at 24.

At this time, the United States is one of the few countries that allows its citizens to renounce if they hold no other citizenship. However, it appears to be extremely uncommon. There seem to be currently three living ex-Americans who are stateless. Myself, Mike Gogulski and, most recently, Jason Minard. For sure there are others who have not shared their status publicly.

Daily Bell: What about being a perpetual traveler? Is that a good idea?

Glen Roberts: Many expats are so-called perpetual travelers. In fact, I believe that may be a category that most expats fall into. The high-tech, Internet-connected world makes it a very feasible lifestyle. Simply visit a country as a tourist and stay for as long as you are allowed. That is often 90 days. At the end of the 90 days take a short trip somewhere and return for another 90 days, or one might cycle between two countries, or even move about more as a nomad.

A fairly effective "off-grid" lifestyle is possible, though you will need to keep a current passport and the purchase of property or businesses may be legally limited. I think the best time to be a perpetual tourist is when you are thinking about living someplace. Check it out for six months or a year without any paperwork hassles or obligations. For longer than that, you may find the obligation of traveling to become a chore and/or costly.

Daily Bell: A CNBC editor labeled your book un-American. Why?

Glen Roberts: If you viewed the word to mean "anti-American," then I believe many would agree. I am certainly "anti-American" in some ways. However, it is the right of all Americans to renounce their citizenship, so that could hardly be un-American.

However, I think his meaning was less "anti-American" and more a throwback to the McCarthy days where un-American was a pejorative term of US political discourse. The use of the term was to attack someone in an attempt to discredit or insult them, simply because they were being good Americans and exercising their American rights. His view seems to be that people should seek political change through voting and lobbying. My view is that the most important, easiest and, of course, most effective thing to change is ourselves.

If that change brings us to a point where we feel US citizenship is no longer appropriate, then the American thing to do is exercise our rights and renounce it. America was founded on the principal of the rights being inherent with the human being, but we seem to have found ourselves in a world where the exercise of our rights is considered bad. Step out of that situation and let your soul roam wild and free.

Daily Bell: Have you received other negative feedback? Positive?

Glen Roberts: In Latin America, it is the dream of many to visit, if not live, in the United States. Many seem completely amazed that an American would renounce his citizenship, to the point of disbelief. Others in Latin American see the United States as a monster that is out of control around the world and are amazed and delighted to hear of my decision.

The book itself stays out of the political issues except for briefly touching on some of my experiences as an adult in the US. I think because of its down-to-Earth nature, there has been very little negative feedback. I was surprised by the positive feedback from my friends, old schoolmates and others that I don't imagine ever considered renouncing.

Daily Bell: You run websites. Let's go back in time. Tell us a bit about your childhood and how you got involved with the Internet.

Glen Roberts: I was always in conflict with the "authorities" and in the school system excelled at not participating. However, there were a few exceptions. In high school one of the teachers had used his own money to purchase an Altair 8800 computer for his students to use. That computer is one where you used toggle switches to enter programs and lights to see the results. Accessories included a paper tape reader, dumb terminal and various systems for recording programs or data on cassette tapes. Long before the Internet.

He also made arrangements with a department at the University of Michigan for selected high school students to use one of their facilities outside of normal business hours. I can't imagine how Karl Zinn got the idea that it would be okay to give some high school students keys and permission to hang out in his university department building without supervision and use the personal computers available there! However, he had a vision about the future of the personal computer and it also offered me an opportunity to escape the emotional distress of conventional schooling.

I was one of the high school students who were among the first to arrive in the evening and the last to leave in the morning. That often meant spending from 6:00 PM to 7:00 AM every night there. At much as it is humanly possibly to merge with the machine, I did. It also meant my efforts to escape the school system were intensified, as I had no time much less a desire to attend any classes there.

Daily Bell: Tell us about your run-in with the Pentagon in the mid-'80s.

Glen Roberts: I believe that I was destined to finish high school in 1980 had I followed the official indoctrination plan. But I was side tracked by the computers. At 15 I was working for the University of Michigan doing computer programming. I worked for two different departments at the university. Shortly after that I started doing contract programming work for other companies. In 1979, at 17, I went to Europe for a few months to do computer programming for a company there.

As you read that, you may well be thinking that I was a bright young man, though uneducated in a formal manner, on a great career path of computer programming. To an extent that was true. But there was another side, a much stronger side. I was a very angry young man, one that was completely disillusioned with the system – all aspects of it. I had seen the system was a lie. In junior high I was told there were "electives," yet in the end you had to take all the courses, and the only election had to do with the scheduling. They were childish and stupid.

The programming, however well it paid, wasn't fulfilling. It left a gap that needed to be filled. That gap, the answer to it and my natural quest for information, led me on an adventure that encompassed basically my entire adult life in the United States, some 20 years of it.

At first I was just looking for information without any particular focus. Soon I discovered the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and felt empowered. I could ask any federal or state agency for copies of whatever documents I chose and they were obligated to send me the copies within a week or two. As I recall, the State of Michigan had five business days and the federal government ten. Of course, it was rare for them to respond according to the law.

I started to publish a small newsletter, which later I renamed "Full Disclosure, and published in a tabloid format on an irregular basis for many years. In 1983 I found a path to greater empowerment. The provisions of the FOIA, which allow someone who made a request to file a lawsuit in federal court if they didn't get a response in the required time (ten business days for federal agencies). In 1983 I filed my first lawsuit against a federal agency. That happened to be the CIA.

The result was an award of $600 for attorney fees and the release of some documents. Over the years, I filed many more such lawsuits, though without an attorney. For the $50 filing fee, I, a "worthless" high school dropout could make the federal government jump through hoops. At the first hearing with respect to that CIA case, the first time I had ever stepped foot inside the federal courthouse this is what happened. The government sent an attorney from Detroit and two from Washington, one from the CIA and one from the Justice Department. They met for the first time in the lobby of the federal courthouse in Ann Arbor.

Though looking back I can say that I really had no idea what I was doing, how to do anything, any social skills and minimal English skills, I was finally doing something. I was in the driver's seat against some of the most powerful organizations in the world. I paid my 50 bucks and they jumped through hoops for me. An endeavor worthy of repeating.

I kept collecting information and publishing my tabloid, and became very good at digging out information. I also developed various sources. For example, when John Gotti went on trial the last time, I received a phone call and the voice said: "You will receive a phone call from a producer at ABC World News Tonight. Whatever they ask for, tell them you can provide it." They wanted to see the kind of bugging equipment the FBI used to spy on John Gotti. I arranged an interview with them and made a presentation.

The publishing and computer work supported me at least well enough to pay the electric bill (usually). During the 1980s most of my efforts were with the FBI, CIA, local police and the like. Once the 1990s and the Internet came, I eventually gave up the printing press and developed some websites where I gave examples of "private" information that was publicly available – often the dislike of many, including privacy advocacy groups who seemed more interested in debating the abstract issue while I felt content offering live demonstrations was more important.

Some time in 1997 I discovered that when a person is nominated to become a military officer (all officers of the military go through this process), their name and Social Security Number (SSN) is presented by the president of the United States to the Senate for confirmation. The Senate then publishes the list in the US Congressional Record. Newt Gingrich was bragging about how all this government information was available online and available to the public. So I had a look!

He was right! I compiled a list of 4,500-plus names and SSNs of US military officers. Colin Powell, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and thousands of others were on the list, all complements of the US Senate and their website (also available in the print version of the Congressional Record as I write this today). I listed them on my website and questioned why they were so published by the Senate.

The first significant attention to that page was by Time magazine in June of 1997. However, nothing much came of it. Then in December of 1999, one-and-a-half years later, I got a call from a reporter at the Wall Street Journal. He said that a source had given him a copy of an internal memo from the US military about my website and wanted my comments.

I asked him to send me a copy so I could review it and comment. He refused to provide a copy, obviously, because I would publish it on my website and have the story before he did. However, he said it would summarize it for me.

It went something like this: I had created this website and some criminals used the data to get credit cards in some of the military officers' names. A special task force between civilian and military law enforcement agencies was created to investigate the matter. The Secret Service had contacted me and asked me to remove the website and I had refused. Because I refused to take down my website, the task force sought assistance of the US Attorney. The goal was to close my website. However, the US Attorney refused to assist them, citing that it was within my First Amendment rights to publish that information on my website. The memo listed the URL for my website and was presented as some kind of warning.

The Wall Street Journal article that came out, page one, above the fold, included a quote from retired Maine General Paul K. Van Riper saying, "Roberts should be less concerned with privacy laws and more concerned with physical laws, especially what happens when a closed fist hits him upside the head." The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that I was, according to unidentified "members of the military," " becoming a threat to national security." The Pentagon refused comment.

Daily Bell: Was this the reason for you leaving the US?

Glen Roberts: The truth is, I didn't leave the US. Not the way you are asking anyway. I didn't pack my bags because of anger over the situation, or out of fear that a US military officer was going to beat me up, though maybe I am surprised no one tried. I didn't even wake up one morning and think, life would be so much better if I moved somewhere else. I didn't research for a country to move, pack my bags in disgust with the United States and venture off.

The adventure with the Pentagon was really nothing new. It was really the kind of thing that had represented my life over the past 16 years. In 1986 an FBI agent telephoned me and threatened me. What had happened is that I was becoming disillusioned that no one was listening. Of course, I understood the government needs to "blame the messenger," yet it didn't seem anyone was getting the message.

I continued maintaining my websites and supporting myself with computer work. At that time I had a small local computer store. The only way to describe it would be with the word stress. In 2000, I went through a Chapter 11 reorganization and in a sense, "renounced" the computer business, as I was supporting myself online by then. However, the word stress was still upfront and center in my life.

There was no end to the stress. As I had said, in high school I had essentially "merged with the machine" as much as humanly possible. That aspect was as strong as ever. I was stressed by the culture, my work and everything around me. I took a long weekend vacation in Costa Rica. It was a terrible experience. But those three days away from the US, away from the news, away from email, away from the phone, planted a seed.

I then planned a longer vacation and went back to Costa Rica for ten days with arrangements to keep an eye on my business and explore something new. That turned out to be a great experience and a short time later I returned to Costa Rica for a month. During that trip I rented a house. I returned to the US in February of 2003 for a week or so. When I got back to Costa Rica, I moved into my house and made plans to spend a month or two there and a month or two in the US.

However, my new life distracted me and I never return to the US. It simply became uninteresting. Since I was only a tourist for the first year or so in Costa Rica, I had to travel every 90 days. I explored Panama, Peru and Colombia. Now, that is an advantage of being a perpetual tourist. You may be "forced" to explore some other countries and find it a very fulfilling experience.

Daily Bell: Give us some background on where you went.

Glen Roberts: I originally moved to Costa Rica and think it was about 2-1/2 years that I stayed there. Near the end of my time there I was traveling to Colombia a lot. It would be easy for me to say that Costa Rica is a terrible place to live and recount many "bad," even terrible experiences there. However, I think the issue had much less to do with Costa Rica and much more to do with me.

I simply jumped from the US culture, the US mindset, into Costa Rica. That is completely incompatible. Those 2-1/2 years were a great transition for me out of the US mentality. Also, because I spoke absolutely no Spanish, I became disconnected from the news, which was at that time only available in Spanish. At the time I probably felt a bit frustrated by that. However, looking back there were two great benefits that I couldn't have foreseen. First, my addiction to the news was deprogrammed! Second, in my efforts to learn Spanish (self-taught there, too), I became social. The social side of my life, which had been so underdeveloped by my close connections to the machines, was able to blossom.

Daily Bell: You ended up in Uruguay for a while. Why?

Glen Roberts: I like to tell people that I threw a dart at a map of the world and it hit Uruguay. Really, that is not so far off. Costa Rica wasn't working for me and I wanted to find a place that would accept my earnings via the net for residency purposes and it appeared Uruguay would. At that time there was no information in English about Uruguay and little to none in Spanish. I was one of the first to set up an English forum on the topic of Uruguay. I started the first English-speaking expat meeting in Montevideo. That was in November of 2005 and they still meet every Sunday.

The plan was to go and stay it if was a nice place, or move on. I ended up staying there for 5-1/2 years.

Daily Bell: What do you think of Uruguay and South America from the standpoint of living there?

Glen Roberts: I enjoyed my stay in Uruguay, but found I like Paraguay more. Each country in South America and different parts of each country are vastly different, in culture, language, climate, food, etc., so it isn't fair to group them together. I think many people do far too much online research and build up a detailed image of a place in their minds only to be let down when they arrive. They are not let down because the place isn't nice, but rather it ends up seeming so different from what they had imagined. The world is far too interesting to not explore. Pick up a few basic facts and then get your feet on the ground.

Daily Bell: What are some countries in Latin America that you might recommend and why?

Glen Roberts: The map idea is good. Put up a map of Latin America on the wall and throw a dart. Wherever it lands should be a great place to start, or at least the city closest to your dart that has an international airport.

Daily Bell: You live in Paraguay – why?

Glen Roberts: I like it better than Uruguay. It is more dynamic. It has a younger population that is looking to do something with their lives. The import taxes are decent, so the country is flooded with high tech stuff. It is multicultural. Lots of ethnic restaurants. I learn bits of Chinese at the farmers market. There are two legal languages, Guarani and Spanish. Spanish is a second language for many Paraguayans so I am not so out of place. There are plenty of fresh and tropical fruits. The people are friendly. The bottom line is that I find it quiet and comfortable.

Daily Bell: Give us a sense of the positives of renunciation.

Glen Roberts: It was a spiritual rebirth casting off all the emotional, financial and spiritual burdens of the United States. I can look at my past activities (and write about them) without being dragged into the issues emotionally. I don't have to answer for what the United States does when asked by people I encounter. I am no longer labeled as something I am not. Additionally, I have no further financial obligations to support the political nonsense of that country. I don't have the paperwork hassles. In the case of the royalties I earn from Amazon, the United States takes a 30% cut directly from Amazon. I am out of the loop with respect to paperwork.

Daily Bell: Give us a sense of the negatives.

Glen Roberts: The final tax return for the United States is a bigger hassle than the usual returns. But, it is a one-time deal. Because I am stateless, I have no passport. I am in the process of getting a travel document. However, a friend from Malta who is visiting said, "It doesn't matter if you can never get a travel document, there are so many opportunities here." Travel to the US may be difficult or even blocked in some circumstances. I haven't been there in almost 12 years and find the world much too interesting to have any interest in that small corner of it.

It can be difficult to explain, in English or Spanish, the "why." Sometimes showing photos from my old passports says it all. How can you tell someone that you've found the possibility of discovering a bit of inner peace? How can you condense 20-plus years of life in the United States and what you learned from it into a sound bite? The concept of statelessness, much less voluntary statelessness takes it to another dimension. Maybe the best way to summarize it would be to call it the desire for: privacy, the right to be left alone.

Daily Bell: How would someone arrange their affairs once they've renounced? What do they need to do? Do they need to travel constantly? Can they stay in one place?

Glen Roberts: Someone who is planning to become stateless – and I might mention that as I write this I got an email from another ex-American who just renounced his citizenship in Latin American and became stateless – needs to do some serious research and have a backup plan. If someone already has another nationality, then they already have a passport and need only review what countries require a visa. You might actually find travel easier without the burden of being American.

Daily Bell: How do they protect their assets?

Glen Roberts: The same as always, but with less paperwork!

Daily Bell: Do they have to pay taxes?

Glen Roberts: Most countries tax people based on physical presence, not citizenship. Hence, you will look to pay taxes where you live. When looking for a second citizenship or place of residency it would be wise to research carefully if a particular citizenship or residency burdens one with worldwide tax obligations. Caution: Uruguay is shifting towards that kind of system and it may be in place for some kinds of income. Most of the information suggests that an expat "shouldn't worry." However, if you are making a lifetime commitment to live somewhere I'd dig deeper than those kinds of assurances.

Taxes are an issue where you should seek professional advice from a qualified advisor. That may be extremely difficult in a country where you are not fluent in the language and/or there have been recent changes in their tax laws.

Daily Bell: Tell us about your tax situation now that you are stateless.

Glen Roberts: As a legal resident of Paraguay, my obligations are the same as other Paraguayans, and the same as before I renounced. The change is that as of the date of my renunciation I have no further reporting or filing obligations with the United States. My final return is, of course, completed after the date of my renunciation, but only up to that date. Additionally, for any US source income, my situation is now the same as any Paraguayan's or other "foreigner"; that for the most part boils down to 30% being withheld and all the paperwork obligations being on whoever is paying you / withholding it. Those with rental income or other kinds of US source income will need to research the topic in depth, and may wish to seek other investments that are less "taxing" in the paperwork department.

Daily Bell: The US media do not report much on statelessness. Why do you think that is?

Glen Roberts: There is a moderate amount of reporting. But it is focused on solving the "problem" of statelessness. Unfortunately, the problem is not the stateless person, but rather the governments who don't respect the human rights of all people whether they are bound by a nationality or not. There are millions of stateless people in the world, up to 10 million or more. Most are that way by their circumstances in life and not respected as humans by any authorities.

An article was recently published in the mainstream media entitled, " 'It's a Form of Torture': UNHCR Launches Campaign to Eradicate Statelessness." I wrote fairly strong response to that, which I titled, "Involuntary Allegiance, Citizenship, Statelessness and Torture." I felt the original article was putting the burden of human rights abuses by governments on the shoulders of the stateless people, looking to change their status to resolve the issue.

In my response, I pointed out that, "in my case, the State only left me feeling belittled and of no value." I also noted what I believed to be the correct response to the problem: "all of the issues related to statelessness simply vanish when a government respects all the people within its realm."

Daily Bell: There are not many renouncing their citizenship in the US. Why is that?

Glen Roberts: The news reports say the number is large and increasing. They are sensationalizing an irrelevant aspect of the issue. They might do better if they looked beyond the count, beyond the anger over FATCA and sought to understand the underlying issues. I don't think it is important if there is one person or a million people renouncing. The important aspect is that each person who renounces has apparently found a way to better their own life in a way that is also respectful of everyone else.

Unfortunately, much of the discussion on the topic is based on anger and fear. The renunciation won't take that away, but it will give you the option to simply step out of that drama. Some feel that because they repeated the Pledge of Allegiance every day in school that they "owe" something – their soul, maybe – to the United States. They are forgetting that allegiance was not made of their own free will. It was imposed upon them. Yet, however wicked that imposition was, they have the right to renounce it and in 90 seconds be free. I say 90 seconds, because I made a YouTube video reenacting my renunciation ceremony and the oath requires less than 90 seconds to complete.

Daily Bell: But many corporations are leaving. In a sense, therefore, US renunciation is significant. Can you tell us more about this phenomenon?

Glen Roberts: Though I haven't researched it, I suspect it is nothing new. Large corporations have always had the legal staff available to research and follow up on their best opportunities. They are simply following their rights as provided by the US Congress. Unfortunately, most small businesses don't have the same opportunities, for lack of resources.

However, individuals do and some, like the corporations, make the decision for strictly financial reasons. I think the significant aspect of renunciation for an individual is the breaking of that involuntary allegiance. It opens the door to free will; it removes your bondage to the United States.

It is much easier for an individual than a corporation but we humans have emotions and other issues to address. However, lacking in a corporation is the emotional department; I can see the media attempting to stir up emotional distress over the issue. Can a corporation be belittled into remaining in the US even though it is contrary to its financial interests? For an individual, it is a private matter between you and the embassy staff. Only after the fact will your name be published.

Daily Bell: Why are so many unhappy with the US?

Glen Roberts: All of us have our reasons. A compilation of the complaints may take a library to hold. Many choose to seek change via voting and writing their congressmen. I believe that route usually leads to increased dissatisfaction and anger. Unfortunately, that anger sometimes leads to terrible things. I believe the best path is to look at changing ourselves. In my case, that was to renounce, simply disconnect from the nonsense, to let my soul roam free.

Of course, that doesn't decrease any of the nonsense, but by being disconnected from it, I am not burdened by it.

Daily Bell: Why do many seek out third-world countries rather than, say, Europe when deciding to leave?

Glen Roberts: I cannot speak for others, but I ended up in South America mostly because my exit from the US started as a vacation in Latin America. I've found when people come to Latin America, they often chose a place to live near the first hotel they stay in. That first point of entry seems to generate a kind of comfort zone.

I'm not sure that third-world countries are that much more popular than Europe. During my renunciation process, while I was waiting for approval from Washington the "excuse" from the embassy for the delay was always something about the backlog of renunciations, mainly because of a large number of now ex-Americans in Europe renouncing over FATCA.

Additionally, I believe many countries in Latin American have recently (the past few decades) put dictators and oppressive regimes behind them. They are in the early decades of newfound freedom. Many believe the United States is at the opposite end of that cycle, coming to the close of freedom and entering into a period of dictators and oppressive regimes. It is not a difficult choice to make if you have the option of which part of that cycle you want to experience.

As well, for those on limited incomes or looking for opportunities so-called third world countries may provide good options. I've often found that some services, such as electric, Internet, cell phone, etc. are cheaper, better and more available than compared to many places in the USA. For example, comparing where I last lived in the US and here in Paraguay, I have more options for Internet and cell phone, as well as better options for them, and I pay less than if I were still living in that US location.

Daily Bell: Do you think things will continue as they are in the US and the West? Or will they get better? What do you think about the recent US elections?

Glen Roberts: I recently wrote a commentary about the Governor's election in Florida. My interest in that topic is zero. However, I've been forced to see political ads from one of the candidates and imagining what the other had to say for months. I titled my commentary: "Bozo vs. Bozo." In my view, one of the Bozos was going to win with the same ultimate effect. After the election I saw half my US friends on Facebook screaming about the end of the world. Had the election gone a different way, the other half of my US friends would have been screaming the same thing.

I don't believe the US is heading in a direction where the population will be able to find contentment or inner peace. The voting system, if nothing else, will keep them from that. The media will continue to fan the flames of irrelevant but emotionally charged issues. The powers-that-be will simply increase their power while the people seek more and more drastic political action to protect them from the chaos.

Daily Bell: How would you structure your affairs overseas if you wanted to leave the US or another Western country?

Glen Roberts: I think the most important aspect is to realize that the place you are going is not the US. It is not a place that has the good features of the US and none of the bad ones. It is not a place as you have read about it online. It is not a "paradise," not a bastion of unlimited liberty. You cannot simply pack your bags, go some place and be an American there.

Just as you cannot be American, you cannot be a local. You will be in a place that will sometimes be absolutely wonderful and at other times leaving you wondering how such place can actually exist. It is in those moments that it is more important not to be American. There are a number of very good American attributes, like work ethics, punctuality, efficiency, etc. But that is the American perspective. In some places those attributes are unknown and possibly offensive. That, I believe, was a big reason I found Costa Rica an unsuitable place to live. I hadn't made the transition between the cultures yet.

So I would get my mind around the need to go and explore, to have an adventure, to learn how the world works from the ground up. Learn new ways of living and seek answers to the frustrations of life from within.

To start that adventure, I'd get my affairs in order. Access to funds. Limited power of attorney for someone "back home," if needed. Then I'd become a perpetual tourist until I found a place I really wanted to be. Then I'd liquidate any physical assets in the US. I would not try to move a container or two of "stuff." That will only serve to hold you in the place you used to be. Be defined by your inner essence not two tons of physical stuff you can struggle to carry about the globe.

Daily Bell: Would you try to buy land or a farm?

Glen Roberts: I'm a techno geek. What would I do with a farm? I wonder if transistors would grow? Seriously, many have ideas about buying a small farm and creating an organic, self-sustainable environment for themselves. I think that is a great idea. If that is your dream, by all means go for it. I think one of the best things I did was getting disconnected from the media, the mainstream news and the websites that deal with all the conspiracies, risks and other negative news. Once you've moved outside the US, that is all irrelevant and a big distraction.

Daily Bell: How about owning versus renting an apartment?

Glen Roberts: A new city or country can seem very appealing in the first months. After you get into the routine of life there, however, it can be less inspiring or worse. Since I moved to Uruguay in 2005, I've seen many foreigners move there with great expectations. Some last a few days or a week. Others a few years. Some move on as part of their adventure in life. Others return to the US in disgust over the failure of Uruguay to meet their expectations. For that reason many recommend living in a place for at least a year before making a purchase. It can also be difficult to sell a property. However, there can also be something said about owning a small place to live, particularly in a location that has very low property taxes.

There is no one-size-fits-all advice for any of these topics. My best advice is to start exploring, even if it is just a weekend getaway someplace. Every minute spent exploring foreign soil will be worth much more than the time spent behind the computer screen or in a book.

Daily Bell: Would you own physical gold and silver?

Glen Roberts: I would never own "physical" gold or silver that was held by a third party. Therefore, it is important to look at one's lifestyle with respect to any regulations for buying, selling, owning and crossing borders with precious metals, especially for those with a perpetual tourist lifestyle. I would also look toward the future and bitcoin.

Daily Bell: Would you try to hold dollars? Is the dollar a dependable currency these days?

Glen Roberts: Again, it depends on your situation. Are you living and earning locally where everything is done in a "foreign" currency? I would hold some bitcoin. I would also look to engage with bitcoin to help it become used as a real currency. I would also work with in (in small amounts) to learn and become comfortable with it.

Daily Bell: What's next for you?

Glen Roberts: One of my current projects is to obtain a travel document. As that progresses and I have some successes or failures, I'm sure to be writing about it. I am also involved with many projects that are outside the realm of citizenship, the United States, etc. Since I live in an apartment and have no land (much less a farm), I have a couple of small projects. I've built an automatic sprouter, which offers me hassle-free fresh, organic greens. Also, I am growing and cultivating spirulina. I believe many consume powdered spirulina for its health benefits. Imagine a ready supply of fresh, living spirulina that you can eat within minutes of harvesting.

For the past six months I've had a sensory deprivation tank in my bedroom. I've been using it for about two hours a day and plan to continue with that. I believe that health food and a good deal of "isolation" can set one well on the path to positive personal change. I also want to continue with my adventures in the Amazon (which is, of course, dependent on a suitable travel document) and related explorations. As I mentioned in my book, that topic will be reserved for its own book.

Daily Bell: Are you going to try to become a citizen of some other state?

Glen Roberts: At this point I don't see that I could honestly say that another state provides something that I would want to take allegiance to. I think many that take on a second citizenship and then renounce their US citizenship are choosing between the lesser of two evils. I would like to go about my life without the burdens of politics and also with respect for my co-inhabitants of the earth and the earth itself.

Daily Bell: Are you planning on writing more books?

Glen Roberts: There are some ideas in the works. You can subscribe to my author's profile on Amazon.com and when they come to fruition you will be one of the first to know.

Daily Bell: Any other points you want to make or websites you want to recommend?

Glen Roberts: I think the most important thing is to find your place, find your free will, become at peace with yourself the best you can. Whether that includes moving outside of your home country and/or renouncing your citizenship, are all personal decisions and the answer can only come from you.

My personal rant / blog is at glr.com and I've set up a forum where people can discuss the topic of renouncing citizenship. It is at howtorenounce.com. I would also like to mention my Uruguay forum at www.totaluruguay.com.

My book is available via Kindle and in paperback format on Amazon.com.

Daily Bell: Thanks for your time!

After Thoughts

Beyond what Glen Roberts has to say in this interview, the really interesting aspect is the emergence of the story of another Internet pioneer and privacy advocate, decades before Edward Snowden, who may or may not be what he claims he is. But Roberts certainly is.

A young man with a chip on his shoulder, Roberts took on the US government, the Pentagon and even the office of the presidency based on his perception that the Internet was almost entirely unsecured and an evident and obvious threat to privacy.

That hasn´t changed. Nor have Roberts's concerns. He owns and runs a number of websites today and has an exciting expatriate lifestyle that features trips to the Amazon to work on physical and psychological healing with tribal shamans.

But he has also re-engaged the state, particularly the United States, based on his continued concern about privacy and the authoritarian measures that are abusing the security of the Internet.

Fortunately, Roberts is not the only one voicing concern. There are, in fact, numerous companies that have sprung up in the wake of Snowden's revelations that are working on legitimate encryption that will safeguard privacy in an era where government authorities believe it is their right to know everything about you.

Roberts no doubt will make more contributions to Internet privacy over time, and we're glad to have brought his story to you in this interview. He represents untold 'Net history that ought to be part of the lore of this exciting time.

Like everything else, innovative tools provide both promise and the opportunity for abuse. Mr. Roberts could have gone to work for numerous government agencies and, given his talents, could have accumulated a great deal of money and power in government service.

Instead, he's remained in the private sector and is now once again raising the alarm about Internet problems within the context of larger political concerns. We need more Glen Roberts. We're glad we met this one.

That said, we should also be clear that High Alert is certainly not endorsing statelessness as the alternative to being a citizen of an oppressive regime. There are opportunities to secure passports from countries that offer much more flexibility and thus ensure your mobility is not impeded. Statelessness, on the other hand, radically limits your options.

As someone whose wife has recently renounced her US citizenship, which I've written about in these pages, I'm more than familiar with the emotional and logistical aspects of the process of renunciation. She now carries a Canadian passport, which permits us to live abroad and not be subject to Canada's residency-based taxation. It also allows her to travel, crossing boundaries without fear of being detained. This is just one of many options available to those who wish to get out from under the heavy hand of the US.

Like it or not, we live within a structure of regulatory democracy. While we certainly don't endorse the system, it is what it is. As of now, without a passport one is limited to one of two options: crossing borders illegally, which we don't advise – in fact, one of our editors spent quite a bit of time in a Yemen jail for crossing a border without state-required documentation – or remaining stuck in one particular country without the ability to get out. While you may have found an environment in which you're happy right now, who's to say that over time the government of any country will not become oppressive enough or the society chaotic enough that you no longer wish to remain? Without a passport one is simply stuck with no exit strategy.

We encourage you to make a wise decision about what kind of passport you carry and what taxes you're required to pay. More intelligent planning is to have the right type of passport, one that opens more doors and more opportunity so that you can enter or exit as needed and keep your tax structure private. Be logical in thinking through the best alternatives to the current system and ensure you have the most flexibility and mobility with the least amount of intrusion, tax-wise and otherwise.

At High Alert we will continue to notify readers as we discover solutions that offer opportunity for just these kinds of dilemmas so that you can consider whether implementing them might work for you. As always, we maintain that thorough due diligence followed by determined human action on your part is the key to developing options to live freer in this unfree world.

Posted in EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, International Real Estate
  • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

    Because living in Nazi USA can be harzardous to one’s health, family and general well-being!

    Seriously, all those re-educational movies about Nazi Germany are mainly works of fiction, viz., Schindler’s List the movie is based on Schinder’s List the book which won the Los Angeles FICTION Book of the Year Award in 1984! But these movies are perfect metaphors and descriptors for the Police State USA that is for all intent and purposes here (or there as I don’t live in the land of GMO milk and fake money!)

    And now I am going to read this rather lengthy article!

    OK, I’ve read this article!

    Comment: Glen Roberts’ one blind spot is what happens to his income stream when the real Sh it hits the fan? His love of living in Paraguay is also telling. Paraguay like Colombia and Chile are probably the most Yankee Latin American nations! For Pete’s sake, Bush Jr. has 100,000 hectares of land there just in case if things go south in good old USA!

    • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

      Paraguay is a big country; the political system is not the only power center.

      • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

        Of course! But Paraguay is not a Big country like Argentina or Brazil is physically or geographically. Its political history and current system imbues daily life of its impoverished citizens and why the rich-poor divide is so significant. As an expatriate from the great land of GMO milk and fake money and that Great Land to the north (I am a Canadian citizen soon to be ex), I can unequivocally say that Paraguay is the Yankee cancer in the heart of South America. But that is just my humble opinion.

    • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

      David I am interested in your opinion as to which Latin American nations are “the least Yankee”? Do you hold an opinion in this regard, in relation to Mexico, or Central American nations? Thanks.

      • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

        Well, I am biased in my opinion! Not like all those “objective” writers and commentators!

        I have written an article called Escape to Patagonia bit.ly/1nhfbgl that explains why I believe Argentina is the least Yankee Latin American nation and why it’s the best place to escape to, not only in Latin America but the world. In a few more days, Maybe a week or so, I will release a new article called Why I Love Argentina which will elaborate more on this very important aspect.

        The Yankee way of doing things and Yankee way of life aren’t going to survive what’s coming down the pike!

        As to Mexico and Central Amerca, they are just too close geographically and historically in terms of their right-wing gov’ts that there will be hell to pay when the USA disintegrates either by nuclear war or by the trajectory it’s on. There is just too much bloodshed shed in Central America that the morning after is not going to be pretty or safe for Yankees. Just my humble opinion. Mexico is of course showing its true rot right now. But wholly expected due to its history of corruption and being Yankee doormat to Latin America!

        • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

          Thank you, I appreciate the information.

        • Marten

          I agree with you David, I love Argentina and Ecuador

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            Ecuador was my 2nd choice. It’s just a bit too close to Colombia for me.

          • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

            David I enjoyed your article on Patagonia, many good points. Have you been to Peru? One good thing is they have outlawed GMOs for 10 years, they also disenfranchised the wealthy landowners in 1969. A very arid land and much of it at extreme altitude but lots of rural people who have been farming the complex and difficult terrain for mellenia. The PTB seemingly do not want to be bothered with them. Unfortunately because of the poverty, altitude, and lack of civilizing influences they may have a point. Just looking for feedback on the South American countries/areas from those with experience there.

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            Thanks for your feedback! No, I have not been to Peru. The issue of clean water is a critical issue for survival and one of the key reasons why I chose Northern Patagonia, Argentina. As to the GMO problem, Argentina is a huge country and like I said in my article, it is mainly a big problem up north, not where we are due to the geography here which is mountainous (factory farming requires large tracts of flat land).

            I am going to release a new article called “Why I Love Argentina!” in about one week that will describe the life in the ground a bit more personally. I’ll post a link here and/or on my twitter @escapepatagonia .

          • Bella_Fantasia

            I saw your comment in passing. I lived in Colan in northern Peru, a fishing village and small tourist destination, from 2006 to 2009. Peru signed a so-called free trade agreement sometime during 2008. Things immediately changed for the worse. Prices went up right away. They let the a fishing company trawl with impunity until all the fish off Colan were gone. So went the dolphins, sea lions, vulchers, and sea birds of all sorts from that area. The poorest, who fished for their living, pulled in their boats and nets for repairs. I worried they’d have a very long wait.

            I don’t know if you’re familiar with weather modification. The US made Peru build a HAARP military facility there, and probably imposed requirements of the Peruvian military to support US militaristic agendas.

            In the desert between Colan and Paita, a port city, logistic companies exploded, with cinder block walls filled with containers piled high, covering acres of desert cliffs overlooking ocean that should have been used for houses, small hotels or tourism. Or just left as desert.

            Northern Peru is desert on the Ocean, like Ecuador. It’s dry and clear and only really hot January through March. Exotic and remarkable flora and fauna everywhere, along with deep blue skies, tall Andes, and spectacular Milky Way vistas. While many desert areas get colder at night, it got hotter there at night.

            While there are fascinating things to see in Lima on every block, it’s more humid, cooler and very smoggy.

            Please see this. Peru, the size of California, has 84 of the 103 ecosystems, and 28 of the 32 climates, making it the most ecologically diverse country on the planet.

            http://www.crystalinks.com/ecologyperu.html

            I have to say I miss being there, in spite of recent changes.

          • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

            Thank you very much! You impart some tragic information, about the fishing village. I guess there is no place the hidden hand cannot reach or control. A HAARP facility?? Good God. I appreciate the link, South America is one place I have not been and since I am thinking of relocating out of “The Great Satan” I may go down and explore Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Any further feedback you have Bella, about them or, really anywhere, would be useful since you are very perceptive of the things I myself would notice.

          • Bella_Fantasia

            You’re certainly welcome, Gregg. If you’re in a position to explore, you absolutely should. Globe Trekker on PBS has shown so many fascinating things about SA. Overall, I see South America rising as North America crashes and burns. I’d probably still be in Peru or somewhere else in SA expect a dear relative needed to return to Alaska, where we are now.

            David Chu has me thinking about Argentina.

            The trade deal did raise the currency exchange from 27 cents to about 32 cents:$1, and now I see it’s 34 cents, but I think it’s artificial, and might have caused inflation.

            It’s been a pleasure to talk and share memories. The beautiful things outweigh the bad. Thank you.

          • Bella_Fantasia

            Aprescoup posted this on Truthout, Rememer Dilma Roussef said she’d try harder or do better in her new term?

            OMG.

            http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/02/braz-d02.html

      • Danny B

        Gregg, some time ago I drove from Los Angeles to Lima, Peru. I also spent 10 years driving around Mexico in the cool months. Also, drove all around the world. NOTHING I did compares to what the Zapp family did.
        http://www.argentinaalaska.com/blog/We-are

        I correspond with them every now and then. I’m sure that they would be happy to pass on whatever info and impressions they have of the States in Latin America. Last time that I wrote, they were living in Argentina.

        I drove to Alaska 7 times. While in Whitehorse, Y.T. , I met Pellegrini,,, in the campground showers. He holds the record for overland travel. http://www.danielepellegrini.com/album.php?alb=360&rac=49
        I also had friends who drove their VW combi through 78 counties. NOT for me. I got Dehli-belly on the road London-to-Kathmandu. I love overland travel but, I much appreciate sanitation.

        • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

          How terrific Danny B!! I also have done extensive overland travel, some of it on top of a bus (southern Persia from Kouramshar – by Kuwait – to the Pakistan border), and on top of the tank cars of a water train (through the tribal area of Baluchistan in western Pakistan), but nothing like you!

          Thanks for the links!

          • Danny B

            Gregg, I suspect that my travels were more structured than yours. You used a lot of local transport. You had more adventure. I sailed down the Nile for a week in a felluca. That was definitely different. It involved camels and burros. Dragoman does the London to Kathmandu route,,,,, via Nairobi. 48 weeks in the back of a 4wd truck. Imagine that. Top Deck does London to Kathmandu in old double deckers. I even worked for them for a while. I’ve kept in contact with the staff. They have a COOL vid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxTwL1-UFPk
            One thing that I’ve noticed over the years is that the “overland” staff seems to die in their 50s. I think that it is because of the constant exposure to Hep, Giardia, malaria and shisto.

          • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

            I have been lucky in my travels but you have a point, I caught amoebic dysentery in India and some awful stuff in Nashville of all places. I think it was a healthier time when I did much of my traveling – 60s

    • Bella_Fantasia

      Hi, David :) For a couple hours stopover in Bogota airport on the way back to the US in early ’09, we were transported into a fascist nightmare. The US presence was chilling. A lemonade cost $6. People in all sorts of military-looking uniforms with guns appeared to be from some sort of 1930’s movie. We had our carry-on luggage rifled through. and we were frisked, which I thought was rather horrible and over-the-top since we were between planes and had never left the airport.

      Between Bush I, Bush II and daughter Jenna, they own about 300.000 hectares over the largest aquifer in the world and near Iguazu Falls. Shame on Paraguay for selling it to them.

      • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

        Thanks for this most interesting information!

        I don’t ever want to visit Colombia, until their people and gov’t renounce the Yankees 150%. BTW, the Chilean border guards are TSA-light, but one definitely gets the same sort of feelings about them as one does going through a TSA-NAZI checkpoint! That’s what the TSA really are.

        You will love Argentina’s TSA people. They are SO different, like normal people, except for when it comes to expensive electronics and computers that one tries to smuggle through (Argentina has a large hefty tax on such goods brought into the country for resale).

        I didn’t know that the Bushes had so much land in Paraguay! Paraguay is a Yankee Lapdog in South America. Do you have a source for that info? One of the reasons is that Paraguay doesn’t have an extradiction treaty with the USA! The War Criminal Bushes are always planning ahead! People who say that Bush Jr. is stupid are themsellves stupid. He did exactly what he was s/elected to accomplish. Mission Accomplished!

        • Bella_Fantasia

          My bad. The Bush family bought 300,000 ACRES over the aquifer.

          http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022473474

          In 2012 doing research into water scarcity and water privatization, I learned about this. Ever since I’ve been passionate about telling people exactly why the water issues are so compelling. The so-called “free trade” agreements seek to usurp national sovereignty imposing corporate governance, and the water will be worth more than gold or oil. Actually it is already worth much more. Please don’t allow Argentina sign any of those Neo-liberal “trade” agreements, David.

          And while the ironic truth is that “W” was actually stupid (his mother had to tutor him using flash cards) the Bush family is elite power royalty, so he was guided by powerful hands. There’s talk of Jeb running in 2016.

          Travelling from Seattle to Anchorage in 2013, we were almost overwhelmed by the throng backed up for TSA protocol. One nasty agent wanted to take away a new jar of Peruvian Aji we bought in Seattle, and then she relented and said it was okay to freeze it in cargo. (We can’t get Aji in Alaska.) We were trying to make sense of this, and finally a supervisor came and dismissed the agent. He looked at the Aji, said he thought it looked good, and I’ll leave the rest for you to figure out. I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to a thoughtful, reasonable, polite TSA employee (and human being).

          And for all the learned hatred of Muslims here, the TSA woman with a headscarf was the most gentle, soft-spoken and respectful of all, which did not surprise me. Of course I told her how much I appreciated the way she did her job

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            If you love Aji, I make a killer hot, I mean hot!, Pink Veggies, my secret fermented organic veggies! This was my first season doing it and during our winter which just past, I ate it religiously for lunch and dinner. Guess what? I didn’t have a single cold or sniffle! It is amazingly nutritious and full of natural vitamins, especially C. People have forgotten that in the old days, it was not canning that was done to preserve veggies, but fermentation!

            Thanks for the link! There is a documentary here about the taking of our waters by the Yankees under the guise of fighting . . . you guessed it, terrorism! I don’t remember the title of the DVD. Fortunately, we are not buying it. The progressive governments of Bolivia, Uruguay (last night’s presidential election was Victoria Número Tres for South America!), Argentina, and Brazil are a solid bulwark against this “clear and present” danger. Paraguay is of course not. It is the cancer in the heart of South America.

            That is why I am becoming more active politically to ensure that Argentina does NOT go back to Menem 2.0 with Macri (current city mayor of Buenos Aires) or Massa (another Argentina politician who wants to surfeit Argentina with debts, etc.). Our debt to GDP is only 8%! Thanks to God for our Presidente and her late husband! That’s why the US Financial Terrorists aka Paul Singer, King Griesa, et al. are going crazy and insane attacking her and our current gov’t.

            BTW, I am writing a new article titled “Why I Love Argentina!” that you might be interested in reading. I’ll post a link on my twitter or to this post.

          • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

            It is difficult to undersand why you defend Argentina when the currency has collapsed, price-fixing is a government passtime and officials are intent on prosecuting even the slightest attempt to remove dollar assets from a failing economy. It combines the worse parts of a failed state and a police state and it doesn’t look like things are going to get better anytime soon. Young people are leaving if they can and your adulation if this failed and failing system is questionable indeed.

            There are expat communities in Argentina that are flourishing but they do so despite government corruption and incomptenence not because of it …

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            I am living here for the past 5 years now, as opposed to reading about Argentina in the Presstitute Lamestream Media including the so-called “alternative media” like zerohedge (which BTW is aligned with Paul “I am Financial Terrorist” Singer).

            Our currency the peso has NOT collapsed. It’s under the same financial attacks via the local 1% as the Russian ruble.

            Our economy has NOT failed. We manufacture things like refrigerators, TV, cars, etc. in the country. Cannot be said about the glorious USA or Canada.

            We are NOT anywhere near a Police State like the USA and Canada (in Canada you can go to jail for nnot believing in the Holocaust narractive, as one example). I know exactly what a Police State is as I grew up in Communist China during the late 60s and early 70s. The USA is THE Police State.

            People are actually coming to Argentina from Spain, Bolivia, etc. People were leaving during the 2001/2002 crisis, but has definitely stablized under the Presidency of the Kirchners.

            So your information is basically out of date, for one, and has a lot of Yankee propaganda, on the other hand.

          • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

            We have plenty of sources in Uruguay. The hostels especilally are full of young Argentines looking for work outside Argentina. We know of builders who have built houses and cannot now sell them except at cost or below. No one our sources talk to speaks well of the government. No one. You must work for it.

            As we said, the expat situation is different .. and better, especially those living in communities. But life for the average Argentine has degraded considerably since the beginning of the global financial crisis.

            y

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            I resent your accusation. I don’t work for the Argentina gov’t.

            You want to talk about about a housing bubble that is ready to crash, look at the real estate situation in Uraguay.

            Just because we have young Argentineans working in Uraguary does NOT mean that they are leaving Argentina like they did in 2001/2002.

          • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

            This shows your ignorance. Real estate including farms “crashed” in Uruguay several years ago. Prices have rebounded some but it’s nothing like it was when people were flipping $30,000 farms in two years for a million-plus …

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            On a long enough timeline, it’s your stupidity and ignorance that is showing…

          • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

            OK, David, you come here and launch a string of attacks disparaging the interview and promoting your articles. You make statements comparing Paraguay to a cancer and also make points regarding Argentina we know to be questionable. You are entitled to your opinion but we suggest strongly that you moderate your tone. Argentina may be a good place for expats along with Colombia and Uruguay, and even Paruguay, but most countries in South America have their problems, especially governmental ones and Argentina is no exception.

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            No, it is YOU who needs to chill.

            I never attacked the interview, only questioned how “stateless” your guest claims to be. I definitely have attacked all things Yankee ( and Canadian for being Yankee lapdogs that they are).

            Of course there are problems in Argentina. That’s a given like saying that the sky in the USA is full of chemtrails. It’s not as horric or catastrophic as you describe them to be.

            I have a better suggestion, given the pro-Yankee propaganda and lies that you guys spout about Argentina, this shall be my last post and visit to Daily Bell.

            Adios.

            David Chu

          • Bella_Fantasia

            And I’m guessing those builders are probably building “American size homes” rather than appropriate houses.

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            You have plenty of “sources” but have you guys ever been to Argentina or Uruguay???

          • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

            Yes.

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            What you call “price fixing” is basically our gov’t’s attempt to keep a lid on things.

            During JFK’s administration, he literally went to war with the US Steel Industry because they wanted to raise the price of steel by, I think it was, 4%!!! And he won. But he made another enemy that eventually led to his assassination.

            The way it works is that the 1% here mainly in Buenos Aires are chasing the worthless USD (they have their 2nd and 3rd casas in Miami and New York, so their allegience is quite well known). Because there is this big difference between the so-called “blue dollar” or the illegal USD and the official USD-peso rate, the 1% who also happens to be business owners raise the prices on their goods and services to make up the difference in the USD exchange rates: “chasing the USD”.

            This leds to our strong unions here to ask and demand for higher pay. And so forth and so on. Hence the high inflation rate. When the USD finally sinks, and it will just like the Titanic, the inflation problems in Argentina and other US targeted nations for regime change (like Venezuela, Russia, Iran, etc.) will ease or maybe even cease to exist.

          • Bella_Fantasia

            Somehow I missed this comment, but now I see it. Pink veggies sounds interesting and healthy. Before I lived in Peru, I didn’t know how to make soup. Stupid advertising had convinced us it was so laborous, but it was actually so easy and wonderful.

            I’m looking forward to your article on Argentina, the failed state NOT.

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            I’ll bet you a dollar that Ken Lay of Enron s still alive and kicking . . . enjoying his new life on Bush’s estancia in Paraguay!

          • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

            Ken Lay died on July 5, 2006.

          • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

            You guys really do believe everything you read in the Presstitute Lamestream Media!!!

          • Bella_Fantasia

            He supposedly died in short order, but who can be sure? Jeffrey Skilling will be out of jail soon, and it doesn’t sound like he had it too hard, now a Spanish tutor. I’m sure he’s the last to serve any sentence, since nothing the One Percent does is a crime any more.

            http://www.cnbc.com/id/101323543#.

          • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

            It is possible. Almost anything is possible …

          • Bella_Fantasia

            It seems he did pretty well for a dead guy.

            Please Google “Ken Lay, Deceased Enron CEO Triumphs over IRS” Bloomberg.com 2011. (The link didn’t work.)

  • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

    Wow. Of all the eye opening interviews here at The Bell, this one is having the most stunning effect on me personally. What a remarkable interview and what a remarkable man Mr. Glen Roberts is. Lots of nuggets of wisdom here, from his personal experience. It is truly said, there is no substitute for experience! Great advice about actually going somewhere to experience things first hand rather than doing a bunch of online research and then going, with completely self-created and unrealistic expectations. This interview has already changed the way I view being a citizen of ANY country, and I am grateful for that. Great point about where different countries currently are at, in the swing between freedom and despotism, since it seems to me that this is cyclical, on a country by country basis.

    • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

      Thanks. It is a long interview but an informative one …

  • Jurist

    There is a fundamental difference between declaring oneself a US citizen, and declaring oneself to be a Citizen of one of the several united States. The United States is a corporation. The U.S. is another corporation. The US of A. is yet another corporation held by foreign nationals. Citizens are subjects (and therefore property of the state) see Blacks Fifth Law Dictionary.

    However, pursuant to the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation (a perpetual union), inhabitants of the various united States of America were considered Citizens, and were sovereign in every respect, holding no allegiance to any political state. That was not a typical use of the term, but the status has been confirmed by numerous Supreme Court decisions.

    The status of United States citizen is an artifice, and only fictions of law (corporations, trusts, estates, etc.) qualify. As I witnessed a judge in federal district court say to a defendant in a tax prosecution, “The State created you!” it became clear that the man was not the party on trial, and that something very fraudulent was occurring. Then again, maybe the Judge was trying to tip the man off that he himself was not on trial but was not allowed to reveal what was actually going on. Nobody would reveal what was actual on trial. For reference, see: the Lieber Code, the Emergency Banking and Reorganization Act, and the Trading With the Enemy Act.

    • Tom

      What is the significance of this information? How is it practical or useful in daily life?

      Many people repeat that the US is a corporation, but fail to explain why that is of any importance or
      how it can be used to one’s advantage.

      I see a lot of patriot information repeated, much of it incorrect, and many patriots go to jail. Still people
      continue to repeat the same failed arguments.

      • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

        You may be correct or not. But people go to jail regardless of the relevance of their arguments.

  • Jim Johnson

    Good luck with this search for a “better way”. We are just now beginning to see the full challenge of the American Experiment. I choose to stick around and see it through. Where we went left, we now know we should have gone right. Just because no nation has ever reversed such massive trends is no reason to think it can not be done. But good luck. I hope your new neighbors appreciate the unique gifts of character we had forced down our throats.

    • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

      Your Grand Experiment died on November 22, 1963. That was what was killed on that fateful day in Dallas. And the Yankee sheeple went into sleep. That’s when the PTB knew that they could get away with everything. And they have.

      You guys are just going through the motions of a dying and cornered Genocidal Empire.

      • Jim Johnson

        So be it, then. I choose a different ending, and won’t be around for whatever you speak of. We started down this path when a group of States changed the Vision to one allowing them to intrude into the homes and affairs of other States. Probably started out as a wish to simply own property in territories they weren’t citizens of, and grew from there. We either re-establish that Vision or I am out of here, literally. I hope we at least set an example of Hope, even if it is what not to do.

  • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

    What is unstated by this interview, at least my reading of it, is that Glen Roberts probably has permanent residency with Paraguay or Uruguay which allows him to move around freely in the so-called Mercosur nations. So, in that sense he is not so stateless. He just doesn’t want to apply for citizenship with ANY country.

    • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

      He has a cedula with Uruguay and free access to numerous countries via the Mercosur trade treaty.

      • http://www.gotgmo.com/ David Chu

        Cedula is just a fancy word for a National ID Document of some sort. Here in Argentina, it’s called a DNI. To get a DNI here you need to become at least a temporary resident. Not sure about Uruguay, but in any case to a cedula or DNI one must submit some sort of application for residency first. So, my point is that Mr. Roberts is not 100% “stateless”, nor does he want to be. Otherwise, he would be a refugee who is truly stateless!

        • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

          He has a cedula. He refers to himself as stateless because he currently has no formal nationality. No nation or government recognizes him as a full-fledged citizen.

  • Herbie

    Thanks for the interview and thanks to Glen Roberts for the insights. Having lived in quite a few different countries over the years, I can only agree absolutely that it´s better to leave your expectations at the border. Everyone is an individual, so no two people will react in the same way to a new way of living. You just have to accept the positives with the negatives. If the former outweigh the latter, then you´re doing well.

  • Fabian

    “I don’t believe the US is heading in a direction where the population will be able to find contentment or inner peace. The voting system, if nothing else, will keep them from that. The media will continue to fan the flames of irrelevant but emotionally charged issues. The powers-that-be will simply increase their power while the people seek more and more drastic political action to protect them from the chaos. – ” I think Roberts nails perfectly the prevailing social mood in place in the USA. However, as a foreigner, I think you can easily isolate yourself from that and go quietly about your business.

  • Samarami

    Mr. Roberts finally got to the point without actually saying it: one is either stateless, or s/he is statist. You can’t be both. And if you become stateless there is little or no need to “renounce” anything with the white man* It’s best you don’t, just like it’s best you not poke or prod or tease rattlesnakes. You already understand his nature, so why screw with him.

    You needn’t abandon your neighbors and family and friends — unless you find a location you like better than the one you’re “at”. Circumventing the white man’s fictitious lines in the sand (“ports of entry”) is another matter — worthy of study. But don’t expect Leviathan to be nicer or less tyrannical in Costa Rico or Uruguay than the U.S. or Britain or “where you’re at”. I submit that the thing that brought Glen that sense of peace was the freedom he declared between his own two ears. That’s worth at least a million federal reserve notes.

    Becoming stateless requires that you accept and learn to navigate the risks — they’re the same with rattlesnakes as they are with any other “authoritarian”. You don’t “renounce” rattlesnakes. You simply protect yourself and avoid risky behaviors. Rather dumb to traipse into a snakes’ nest, then beg them to let you leave unharmed.

    I never asked for a thing called “citizenship”. That is a state of mind — enforced by the white man (just as if I had applied for and been granted such a “ship”). There are millions of so-called “illegals” in the U.S. who are not concerned with passports or visas or “green cards” or other “travel documents”. They simply go where they wish to go and accept the risks. And learn to do business in black and/or “gray” markets.

    You can be free. Here. Today. Sam

    *My use of “white man” is not racist intended. It is in keeping with the traditional nomenclature of natives to the U.S., who recognized the depraved dishonesty (and ineptitude and stupidity) of the white man — too late in their case. Those who did not meld themselves into the “white” culture were either murdered or forced onto reservations.

    • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

      You blame today’s world on the “white man.” But chances are similar control mechanisms were implemented within the great African empires of days gone by. Social manipulation is not the product of skin color.

      • Samarami

        Sorry. Forgot my standard footnote: “The White Man” has no racial implication. I use the term in tradition of U.S. Natives who labeled “authoritarian” wizards as such. Sam

        • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

          Get lost pal – go pull your passive-agressive sh_t somewhere else.

      • Hey You

        My belief is in ancestor memory. We all have it. My ancestor memory is from northern Europe where, in the past, people needed to lay away stores for winters. If my ancestor memory came from, for instance, Hawaii, my outlook on providing for no winter harvests would be considered unimportant, if not ridiculous. Sure, I could intellectually recognize that, in Hawaii, laying up stores for winter is unimportant. The problem is that these responses are mostly emotional and can not provide any “one-size-fits-all” for big government policies as much as we would like.

    • Praetor

      Really. All that we know, black, brown, white, male, female any race you wish to imagine or make up, has learned the knowledge from nature. Watch any species of animal, see how they protect their territory, area, space, boundaries, and yes boarders, the place they think of as their own, they will defend this territory, till the intruder wins, leaves or is killed, this is the way of nature. This is where humanity learned this lessen, nature. You may wish to blame all the ills of this world on white people, but, you be wrong. The blame lies, with the fallen nature of earth and humans as a whole, every race is to blame for the ills of this world, including yours!

      • Samarami

        Again — please read the footnote. Sam

        • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

          I am sorry Sam, can’t buy into that! Making racist statements and then saying it isn’t intended to be racist is claptrap pure and simple. Find a better way to express what you intend to communicate. If you intend to communicate that white men (all of us I assume) are depraved, dishonest, inept and stupid you have done that with crystal clarity and do not belong on this forum. Your footnote simply adds insult to injury.

    • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

      Your use of white man is unnecessary, tasteless and in extremely poor taste sir. There is depraved dishonesty, ineptitude and stupidity in every race and I refuse to be made to feel ashamed or guilty for what some men – whatever their racial background may have been – have done. Evil is evil regardless of the color of our skin. Your words promote race hatred, guilt and shame so get a clue, clean up your act, or do not post here.

      There is no place for this kind of tripe on this forum.

      • Samarami

        Once again, please read the footnote.

      • Robert Newton

        Methinks you protest too much. The truth is the truth – and a double edged sword.

  • Bruce C

    I think it’s a mistake to think that just by leaving the US you will escape the consequences of a coup and breakdown in the US.

    I’m quite sure that whatever advantages third world countries seem to have now will not continue if/when the US goes down.

    I also think it is cowardly to leave the “home front” (read, like values that need defending).

    What would the world be like if people thought like you in the Colonies during the mid 1700’s?

    The majority of Colonists at that time also believed that the “Imperial” threat was too strong and subversive.

    The current situation isn’t that different, especially if there are “techno geeks” on “our” side.

    “We” need your help.

    • http://www.electricsitar.com/ Gregg Fosse

      Bruce C I can see both sides of this. However, look at what became of those who resisted Nazi tyranny: they ended up on the guillotine, or hanging from meat hooks. The lucky ones in Bergen-Belsen or one of the other camps. As far as the colonists, presumably they LEFT England to get away from the money power so that example may be flawed in this context. I am not interested in having a statue of me in twenty years as a martyr to freedom, I just want to protect my family and so I am considering all options and hope I will decide before the decision is made for me : (

      • Bruce C

        I understand.

        If there was still a “new world” to flee to then that “Pilgrim” analogy would be more apt, but there doesn’t seem to be. That’s partly why I advocate staying to “fight”.

        It’s impossible to know what may happen and when, but the allusions of roving bands of desperate, hungry people all over the place if the status quo breaks down is – I think – sufficiently believable and scary enough that that alone is an understandable reason to bail.

        However, there are ways to deal with that don’t require leaving the country. I don’t have a family per se – at least no young kids – so that’s easier for me to say.

        • Samarami

          You both make valid points. My ongoing mantra is that I can be free here — today. Where I am. Lunatics hiding under the collectivist mantra of “government” are inept, inefficient and stupid. TEOTMSAWKI will come, and you and I will survive if we are prudent. Hopefully none reading this will be among those clamoring for greater and more tyrannical state in its wake.

          There were many “Jews” residing within the boundaries of what became the Third Reich (German “Reich” = “Empire” in English) who escaped unscathed the holocaust of waring statists. They were the ones who refrained from “renouncing” anything: “citizenship”, “religion”, et al. They wore no identifying arm bands, made no waves, elicited no press. Some stayed where they were in relative freedom, others quietly left. Those who managed to breach customs and settle in this area called America would have been considered “illegal aliens” by governmentalists of the day (Jews were routinely refused “entry”). But they simply side-stepped officialdom, rolled up their sleeves, eked out livings, married, had children, etc. Sam

    • Marc de Piolenc

      Many colonists were people who had fled Europe, or their immediate descendants, so they would probably have been sympathetic to 21st century expatriates. Voting with one’s feet is a legitimate option, and is itself a powerful act of protest – more powerful at least than living in your own s…t in a public park with a protest sign on your pup tent. As for third world countries becoming less welcoming after a US collapse – well, maybe. But that is no reason not to move now. Nobody has a reliable crystal ball, so ignoring current proven opportunities because of possible future hazards makes no sense. Final point: the American Revolution was carried out by a minority – estimates give less than 5%. What those people believed mattered more than the opinions of the majority – assuming they had any – because that minority was willing to do something about their grievances. They were able to prevail in place back then because the situation made that possible. Today, they might choose to relocate.

  • Impending Sky

    My disillusionment with the US followed a similar trajectory to Glen’s. Like Roberts, I also work with Internet advertisement revenue. In my case, I use my own software to generate content rather than composing by hand. Glen most likely has some interesting techniques of his own.

    For now, I am satisfied living as an expat. While renouncing citizenship might give me a sense of personal satisfaction, I have to weigh that against the mobility that a US passport offers. Should the opportunity become available, a St. Kitts & Nevis passport seems ideal, followed by a passport from Dominica and a part time residence.

    Glen makes good points about Bitcoin, although I would not compare it to gold as he has. This year I am moving away from ads and into Bitcoin microtransactions for digital goods. There are just too many rules about moving value across borders. There have been too many noises about exit taxes and confiscation when leaving the US passport behind. If I leave the US passport behind, I would like my wealth in something that they can not confiscate as readily.

    It is too easy for people get caught up in the categories of identity. We are humans, not places or subcultures. Maybe some feel that it is cowardly to leave. That is their opinion. The flip-side would be considering their attachment and sourcing of identity as a form of barbaric idolatry.

    I recall an insightful comment posted here a few months back about Europeans moving to Patagonia in the 1930’s. Were those horrible violent events preventable in the context of the individuals who chose to go to Chile and Argentina during that period? I do not know. I do know that I would not presume to sit in judgement of those individuals from the privileged position of historical retrospective. The reasoning in this logic should be obvious.

    We may not be able to control or even influence the actions of our governments, but we can absolutely control our own actions. Opting out and not participating may be the most powerful voice we have. Of course, if one were inclined to question the fortitude of others, one might suggest that those who fail to opt-out are somehow cowardly or less than righteous. However, I think most of us will agree that it is not our place to pass judgement on others in this way. As the DB keeps repeating and as Mr. Roberts has illustrated, it is more important to focus on ourselves. We must become the change we want to see.

    • Hey You

      My reaction was to free myself from governmental activities years ago merely by treating the government as a (un)natural disaster like an earthquake or tornado, etc. Certainly, I have gotten benefits from other taxpayers (via government regulations) but I have also paid. Now, I am wise enough to get into a storm shelter if I see a storm approaching.

      • Tom

        Can you be specific about how you free yourself from government?

  • ron R

    I chatted today with someone who had been at a citizenship court in Nanaimo BC. They said most of those applying for citizenship were Americans!!!

  • Darquius

    This interview replaced my meditation time by having similar effect; expanding my perspective on nation indenture related on many social essential and logical physical reality levels. Well done. Mind feels clearer. Mr. Roberts is indeed a hero by logic, choice of words and actions. Thanks for sharing the interview.

    • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

      Thanks.

  • Marc de Piolenc

    A bit of a letdown, as it doesn’t address the principal problem of voluntarily stateless people, namely travel without a national passport. To be continued, I guess.

  • Hey You

    Actualy, I am not unhappy with the USA, it’s the USA federal government which is the problem. In fact, my state government is pretty good (NV). Thus, I wonder if I could renounce my federal citizenship and remain living where I am.
    That may not be a real problem simply because the federal system will probably just fade away in a few years because it’s beyound bankrupt. But, of course, fading away means no safety net (food stamps, social security, aid to – – – , etc) which in turn means all kinds of problems, primarily centered in metro concentrations. The only sure prediction is that tomorrow won’t be the same as yesterday.

  • nadie sabe

    Two and a half years ago, my passport (from an EU country) was confiscated by a Central American country for a sello falso that I was unaware was false. After spending over a month in a prison worse than hell (and afforded no due process) and exhausting the legal process here (all the way to the Supreme Court), the passport was never returned and now has expired. My current country of residence will no longer issue temporary identity cards in my name because they consider the case closed. My native country will not provide help other than deportation and incarceration on return. I have no legal identity, and although I have built a new life here which I wish to continue, even a minor traffic stop will result in deportation or worse. This is the reality of being a person without a country–no work, no travel, no bank account, no money from Western Union, no medical care because that would require a legal passport number or local cedula (identification number). Mr Roberts comments/advice would be appreciated

  • John1945

    There was a high school textbook named “American Pageant”. It passed through 12 editions becoming more and more politically correct.Pre-50s editions merrily describe my grand-grandparents as “Bipeds from the Forest”,North America is nicknamed “The Land of Second Chance”.
    I firmly believe that for me there is no “Land of Third Chance”.For one well-to-do guy who Flees & Renounces there are 1000’s who must Remain & Stand Ground.

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