What Is the Message in a Food Rights Activist Being Labeled a “Sovereign Citizen”? James Stewart Finds Out, Via Shackling, Isolation, Hypothermia, Food Deprivation


James Stewart was feeling “disoriented” when I caught him on his phone this morning in Los Angeles. He had just been released from a Ventura County jail last evening, finally, on $100,000 bail. “I feel like I just got off an amusement park ride,” he said.

He was actually lucky he was just feeling disoriented. During his seven days in jail, “They tortured me, without touching me.” The torture included being deprived of meals, being shackled for hours so tightly he couldn’t move, being kept in 50-degree confinement cells with only a thin short-sleeve shirt, and being kept in solitary confinement.

The worst parts came during his first couple days of confinement, in Los Angeles, after he was arrested immediately following a courtroom appearance March 2 in connection with previous felony charges stemming from Rawesome Food Club’s distribution of raw milk to its members. Also arrested during the courtoom appearance was Sharon Palmer, who had supplied milk to the food club. She is still in a Ventura County jail, as efforts to reduce her bail further, from $500,000 to $250,000, failed yesterday.  

The March 2 arrests of Stewart and Palmer were in connection with new felony charges stemming from alleged mortgage fraud associated with the purchase of Palmer’s Healthy Family Farms property in 2008.

The brutal treatment accorded Stewart almost certainly stems from the government’s recent campaign to label him a “sovereign citizen.” He says has never declared himself as such. Sovereign citizens supposedly detach themselves from ordinary linkages to government authority, such as drivers licenses and Social Security.  

In recent years, American security authorities have sought to link people so labeled with “domestic terrorism” associated with “attacking Americans because of U.S.-based extremist ideologies.”  Here is what the FBI says in an Internet posting:

“Sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or ‘sovereign’ from the United States. As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement.

“This causes all kinds of problems—and crimes. For example, many sovereign citizens don’t pay their taxes. They hold illegal courts that issue warrants for judges and police officers. They clog up the court system with frivolous lawsuits and liens against public officials to harass them. And they use fake money orders, personal checks, and the like at government agencies, banks, and businesses.

“That’s just the beginning. Not every action taken in the name of the sovereign citizen ideology is a crime, but the list of illegal actions committed by these groups, cells, and individuals is extensive (and puts them squarely on our radar).”

Stewart says he was questioned at one point during the holding-cell experience by officials as to whether he was a “sovereign citizen.” “They tried to break me, get me to admit I was a sovereign.” He says he never had declared himself such before, and didn’t under questioning.

Several days later, during a hearing last week, a lawyer from the Ventura County District Attorney’s office would, during a bail hearing, once again characterize Stewart as someone who believes himself tp be a “sovereign citizen.”

While Stewart has never done anything hostile, he did, in running Rawesome, actively operate it as a private organization, outside normal licensing channels. When he was called on the carpet by health authorities immediately after the June 30, 2010, raid on Rawesome, he told them, via a lawyer representing Rawesome, that he believed Rawesome, as a private club, was outside the agency’s jurisdiction. However, the lawyer never used any kind of remotely threatening language, or took any threatening actions.

More recently, Stewart has taken several actions that could be construed as threatening to authorities–though nothing an ordinary citizen would construe as threatening, or even disapprove of. For one thing, he decided several months ago to act as his own lawyer in the original Rawesome case.

Then, in the last couple months, as part of his effort to mount a defense in that case, he had been researching whether the various regulators and law enforcement officers connected to the original Rawesome case–those involved in obtaining search warrants, conducting searches, and arresting him and others– had sworn oaths of office, committing to uphold the U.S. Constitution, on file with the state of California. Lo and behold, he had discovered that a good number didn’t have oaths on file. And he had alerted authorities to his discovery.

Lawyers will tell you that the failure by officers involved in Constitutionally-sanctioned enforcement activities, like obtaining and executing search warrants, to have signed an oath of office, could eventually be interpreted during a trial or other judicial proceeding, as a significant procedural error .

So now the reason for Stewart’s torture becomes clearer. The L.A. County and Ventura County District Attorney offices were sending Stewart a message: We know how to deal with people like you who would be brazen enough to even substantively question our authority. “Labeling you a sovereign is a convenient tool for them to claim you are a terrorist,” says Stewart.

The worst of the torture occurred during his first two days of confinement, March 2-4, in Los Angeles. Immediately after his arrest, he was placed in a holding cell, and held for seven hours with no food being provided.

Then he was taken to Los Angeles’ worst jail, and shackled and handcuffed to a desk for about five hours, before being  placed in a holding cell from midnight to 3 a.m., where the temperature was in the 50s. When finally someone came to move him, “I was in hypothermia, I was shaking.”

They then placed him in a jail cell, not far from three cells where the toilets overflowed. The sewerage seeped into his cell. “My shoes and shirt were on the floor.” Nothing was done to clean the cell for many hours, until late in the afternoon, he was handed a squeegee and told to clean things up.

Sleep was nearly impossible, given the cold and/or fouled conditions, and banging on cells by other prisoners. That Sunday, he was placed into another cold cell for six hours, waiting for a bus to transfer him to the Ventura County jail.

Conditions improved a bit at the Ventura County jail. There he was held for the first few days in isolation for 22 hours each day, with two hours allowed for walking around in a small area outside his cell. “At least we were given three meals a day, even if the food was nothing I would eat.” There was no fresh fruit during the entire time he was jailed, and just a few carrot sticks for vegetables.

I had originally reported when Stewart was arrested that his friends were concerned he wouldn’t accept prison food or clothing. He said he never objected to either and accepted what was offered, “minimalist” though it was. Though Stewart is 65, he noted, “My body is strong, and I was able to tolerate the treatment.”

He labeled the new mortgage fraud charges, filed in Ventura County, as “completely ridiculous. I never accepted any money for the property, or any commissions…I didn’t offer anything for sale.” A preliminary hearing in the case is set for March 19. He notes that prosecutors in his case requested $1 million bail, versus $500,000 for Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State football coach accused of sexually abusing young boys. Both Stewart and Sandusky were eventually freed on $100,000 bail, though Stewart’s was secured, and Sandusky’s unsecured.

Is the Stewart torture affair a first step in an effort to begin discrediting private food clubs, and their operators, as involved in domestic terrorism? It wouldn’t be the first time this country has resorted to extreme force and fearmongering to marginalize those deemed undesirable. We did it to Japanese citizens imprisoned during World War II, we blackballed and imprisoned so-called communist sympathizers during the 1950s, and since 9-11, we have thrown “terrorists” indefinitely into Guantanamo and other jails without charges or Constitutional guarantees.

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28 Comments on "What Is the Message in a Food Rights Activist Being Labeled a “Sovereign Citizen”? James Stewart Finds Out, Via Shackling, Isolation, Hypothermia, Food Deprivation"

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Mark McAfee
March 11, 2012 5:09 am

More and more I love the first amendment…..and the second amendment is a very close second. I have actually grown to really hate officially sanctioned torture and misconduct. The reason for this hatred….it is done in my name. Official miss conduct done to protect me as an American.

Can I puke now. When James was cold and hypothermic…..that cold must be shared by all.

I think I will go out and do some target shooting. Great stress reliever. Every one should do it….perhaps if every one did it….the officials of this country would have a bit more respect for it's citizens. The reason for the second amendment was not for hunting. It was to assure that the power always resided with the people. When our police dress up like military, use military equipment and use the word terrorist to excuse any conduct they wish to use…..we are in deep manure.

Torture tells much about the culture of the torturers. Heartless, truly thoughtless, robotic, spiritless, lawless, moral less badge and gun carrying nazis.

I am so very glad my Sheriff in Fresno is lawful, caring and has a heart and soul.

America is better than this and it is the tolerance of the people that permits this horrible degradation of our moral fibre to occur. Torture of my friend in my name….these are fighting words. This motivates me to go out and teach even more about raw milk. What a great way to even….

James….cruel and unusual treatment is barred by our constitution. Sue their unethical immoral asses to oblivion. A federal lawsuit on civil rights violations grounds. Complain to the Hague. Give them hell. Each and everyone of us must support him…we are next.

Kristen Papac
March 11, 2012 7:11 am

Maybe James and Sharon can be the poster people for WAPFs anti-soy food in prisons campaign?

Bill Anderson
March 11, 2012 9:07 am


This should not surprise us in the least. This is all part of the ultimate corporate scheme to privatize the prison system, and make imprisonment a profitable enterprise for the bankers and capitalist class.

The US prison-industrial complex has been imprisoning thousands of political prisoners for decades. Now, many prisons are being sold off to private corporations which are trying to squeeze every last penny of profit out of system, which often means ignoring the human rights of prisoners.

Let's be honest with ourselves — as horrible as the treatment is that James Stewart has recieved, it is child's play compared what has been done to inmates at Guantanamo Bay, or what is currently being done to Bradley Manning for releasing US state secrets regarding the war in Iraq.

The raw milk movement cannot allow itself to be isolated from these larger realities of what our government and ruling class is doing. The agenda to enslave us goes hand-in-hand with the agenda to maximize profits for the most powerful US corporations.

Ingvar Odegaard
March 11, 2012 10:00 am

This is news to me.
Can anyone provide references in regard to this term sovereign citizen?

And how could it possibly relate to cows, grasses, grain, caring for and milking cows, husbandry of the cows and the transportation of milk? It so happens that I am breathing air right now. Is that permissible?

Whats going on here? It sounds as though they wanted James to utter the magic words sovereign citizen. And then what? Somethings going on. It is better to not be left in the dark. Equal under the law among other things must mean that the laws are published and thus can be known by all.

Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

March 11, 2012 10:39 am

Please stop all the negative comments, I am trying to learn something as others TEACH on here, you are disrespectful and interfering. If you don't have something valuable to teach someone else, please stop the criticism.

To others:
I respect Mark and how he talks so much about continuing to teach. I think if we always have an attitude that we must learn more and teach more, that we will start to turn things around.

I can't attest for Sharon's past, nor can I anyone else on here, but I do know that the food that I have always sold for her has been from her farm and I can sleep at night knowing that. I am at her farm at least 4 days a week and this week every day helping out.

Regarding James: I was at the farm today and Victoria and James and a few other friends showed up. It was great to see James, he shared with us what happened in the last week and it was disheartening to say the least. I was so impressed to see his heart for Sharon, they tried to visit her but her visiting hours were already past. So instead they all came to lighten the load at the farm and help pack eggs for the markets tomorrow and visit all the animals and give them some love. It meant a lot considering James just got out and he is such a great example of selflessness. So many customers and friends who couldn't attend the hearings in the last week have showed up with food for her family and have volunteered to help at the farm. She is respected in our community and her community supports her and loves to be at the farm. \\ So many are concerned about how she is doing and how she is holding up. When I spoke to her the other day, I was saddened to hear how lost she sounded and said that she was so worried about her kids and animals. I could tell that something was going on that had beaten her down. I have never heard her talk like that. Lastly she asked me if we could put money into her booking account because they hadn't given her any soap or shampoo in 5 days and she had just taken a cold shower for the first time since she arrived. It had to paid for in advance for her to have toiletries.
I was shocked and couldn't believe what I was hearing. She said it was so bad, and she couldn't think of anything she could have done to deserve such treatment.
By the way, the other day at her arraignment we came back to the farm and one of the workers said that a unfamiliar guy trespassed onto the farm and told them that he was taking the farm, it will all be his soon. I walked down to the house, rather disturbed, I knocked on the door and noticed a note in the door that said "whoever is staying at the farm, it is very important you call me, Sharon, James and Larry's freedom depend on it" with a phone number attached. It was given to Sharon's attorney. This was pretty creepy and scared the kids and workers.
Please take the time to read this new article written yesterday in Natural News, it makes a lot of sense. A lot of the allegations or charges are ones being drummed up from her past, not new ones as some of you think, ones that she was already found innocent of or were dropped.
I have seen the proof of her innocence and will stand by and support her and help with her farm. It is the least I can do for all that she has given to me and my family. Trust me, I am not the only one.



Milky Way
March 11, 2012 10:50 am

James Stewart enjoyed a Hollywood lifestyle (jail probably sucks), and he highlighted his issues with Rawesome on The Colbert Report last year, drawing the line in the sand.


I wonder if we'll hear from the elders involved in the accused fraud – humans, not banks.


lola granola
March 11, 2012 7:49 pm

Kristen is not being "negative". What she is doing is looking for the TRUTH, and in her quest for the truth she has uncovered lies and manipulation. She is angry. It is understandable. I know these lies, and I am angry, too. Her voice in this is just as valuable as others, it would be wise to pay attention to her, as there is a lot to learn in that which we don't want to hear.

I am not privy to much, but the little info I am privy to portrays a movement that is rife with gossip, backstabbing, collusion, lies, and manipulation. But, you will not find that written on pages such as these. Be aware, and try to understand what they're NOT telling you. You will find much to learn there.

Tim wightman
March 11, 2012 8:15 pm


I happened to see this clip on friday.
I thought I would share it to give you an idea of why one would be asked if they are a part of this movement and how it is being portrayed by the media and governemnt agencies.


Tim Wightman

lola granola
March 11, 2012 8:39 pm

In regards to the idea of the "sovereign citizen":

We must realize that we are ALL sovereign citizens, endowed by our creator with natural rights that cannot be taken by anyone without our express permission and consent. The "United States" in its current manifestation is a CORPORATION which only has dominion over "persons", not sovereigns, and seeks to entangle us in its web of rules, regulation, fees and fines. I can understand the reluctance to align ourselves with that which is seen as "domestic terrorism" by our illegal government, but rest assured, if they don't view you as "domestic terrorists" because of your rightful claim as a sovereign, they will view you as "domestic terrorists" for any other reason they choose to fabricate. Sovereignty is ours, let's own it.

The Complete Patient
March 11, 2012 9:36 pm

Milky Way,
James happens to live in a tiny one-room apartment in Venice. But that is beside the point, which is that torture is unacceptable…for anyone. Keeping someone in a cold room without adequate clothing, until he has hypothermia, is torture. Depriving a prisoner of food is torture. Shackling a prisoner, who hasn't physically threatened anyone, so he can't move, is torture.

Unfortunately, we have officially sanctioned it for accused terrorists in Guantanamo, and in the process, have begun to legitimize it. The Bill of Rights was adopted as part of the U.S. Constitution in large measure to prevent torture, which occurred commonly under British rule. It can't be tolerated for anyone. Individuals who are convicted of a crime don't need to be coddled in prison, but we as a society have an obligation to provide them with the basics of life. In that same vein, Stewart reported that he had to pay $16 for a pillow in Ventura County. That is in line with Wendy's report that Sharon Palmer was being charged for soap and shampoo. Once again, these are forms of torture, especially for poor prisoners who can't afford to pay. A prisoner is entitled to basic hygiene.

Once torture is sanctioned for certain individuals you don't like, it becomes okay for anyone, including you and your family, should one of you have the misfortune to look sideways at a police officer and get thrown in the slammer.


lola granola
March 11, 2012 10:19 pm

"Depriving a prisoner of food is torture."

"Immediately after his arrest, he was placed in a holding cell, and held for seven hours with no food being provided."

In respect to food/torture: Is torture defined as the withholding of food for (only) seven hours? Should we expect that the prison kitchen be on-call 24 hours a day for new bookings, or should we expect prisoners to eat when the meals are served? Perhaps "torture" in this situation is not an appropriate word.

Sylvia Gibson
March 11, 2012 10:24 pm



Apparently it is common for prisoners to pay for toiletries, etc as it should be. Why should my tax dollars pay for them? No one pays for my toiletries or food. Sharon Palmer isn't poor, she owns a farm worth over a million dollars. Her stock et al can be sold if she needs money. I don't know if it passed or not, there was a bill for making prisoners pay a co-pay for health care.

Pillows can be used to suffocate people, or tear the material into strips and hang yourself…or strangle someone else.

Only fools keep their heads in the sand and not question others…

Effective leadership….things get done, as long as you are on their side…all is good,,,until your eyes become opened….

. more than 1,458,179 new houses were built to the highest standards of the time. Each house could not be over two stories high and had to have a small garden for growing flowers or vegetables,…The building of apartments was discouraged. Rental payments on housing were not allowed to exceed 1/8 of an average worker's income.

Interest-free loans of up to 1,000 RM were paid to newly married couples for the purchase of household goods. The loan was repayable at 1% per month, but for each child born, 25% of the loan was cancelled. Thus if a family had four children, the loan would have been considered paid in full. The same principle was applied in respect of home loans, which were issued for a period of ten years at a low rate of interest. The birth of each child also resulted in the cancellation of 25% of the loan up to the fourth child when the loan was cancelled.

Farmers also benefited. ……more than 91,000 farmsteads were built the Farm Inheritance Law was introduced. It ensured that all farms bigger than 15 acres could only be transferred by family inheritance.

All trade unions were united into one organization.. Workers' rights were protected by a Tribunal of Social Honor, which laid down conditions of employment. These regulations were superior to any comparable legislation in the world at that time — and even to this day. As a result of the harmonious relationship between employer and employee, strike action vanished. The taxation of workers, particularly those with families, was sharply reduced.

The Organization (Mother and Child) provided for the welfare, health, safety and financial support of expectant mothers and mothers with children. Their needs were provided for at over 30,000 local centers, kindergartens, and nurseries. (child money) was paid to mothers of insufficient means.

Sports and recreation were actively encouraged. All large commercial and public concerns were provided with recreation yards, sports grounds, swimming pools, modern canteens with smoking-free rooms.

Holiday camps were provided at subsidized rates, while sea trips on large cruise ships to foreign destinations were made possible through the (Strength through Joy) program. These voyages were restricted to workers earning more than RM300 a month, with those earning RM200 or less receiving preference. The British Government would not allow these ships to dock in England for fear that their downtrodden workers would learn the truth about working conditions in Germany.

Since churches concentrated on spiritual matters, rather than worldly affairs, worshippers returned in increasing numbers to their church.
(Winter Help Works) was undertaken to assist the millions of poor and unemployed people. Those persons who had a job were asked to donate a small portion of their wages to unemployed in exchange for a glass or a wooden tag. On the first Sunday of each month families with an income would have an (a one pot dinner) and donate the money saved on fuel, etc. to the needy, who would enjoy a hot meal in a large communal kitchen. Over 17 million unemployed persons, casual labourers, widows and orphans were supported by these charitable efforts of the people.

Regarding crime,.. disarm the police and remove their rubber truncheons. He did this so that the people would feel less threatened and be more sympathetic to the role of the police. At the same time the laws regarding the private ownership of weapons were relaxed. Criminality soon dropped to very low levels, while drug offenses were unknown.

Social Achievements in the Third Reich 1933-1939
By Stephen Mitford Goodson

D Smith
March 11, 2012 10:45 pm

Unfortunately, the Patriot Act and now the new NDAA are about as unpatriotic as they can be and have literally stripped us of our personal rights. Actually, ALL of our rights are pretty much gone.

It would seem the "system" is out to make sure that even something as basic as food rights will be monitored and controlled, and using Stewart and Palmer et al is just a way of showing us how they intend to do that.

We aren't in the middle of it, we're at the end of it because we no longer have rights in America. It's sad but it's a fact and we all better get used to it. It's nice to look on the bright side if you can find one. I, however, cannot seem to find one and the sky gets darker all the time.

Yes, Mark, we're all in deep sh!t and that would likely be pleasurable to what's really coming.

Sylvia Gibson
March 11, 2012 11:22 pm

Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard this is what i found…


"sovereign citizens more severe crimes, from financial scams to impersonating or threatening law enforcement officials, gives reason for concern. "


Paul Griepentrog
March 12, 2012 2:01 am


Anything that is deemed a threat to the tyrants is deemed "terror" in their eyes.

U S Supreme Court on sovereign "terrorists"

Guess the nine supremes are in on this. What do you think?

sovereigns to be subject to statutes. See
US Supreme Court in Wilson v. Omaha Indian Tribe, 442 US 653, 667 (1979):"In common usage, the term 'person' does not include the sovereign, and statutes employing the word are ordinarily construed to exclude it."
US Supreme Court in U.S. v. Cooper, 312 US 600,604, 61 S.Ct 742 (1941): "Since in common usage the term `person' does not include the sovereign, statutes employing that term are ordinarily construed to exclude it."
US Supreme Court in U.S. v. United Mine Workers of America, 330 U.S. 258 67 SCt677 (1947):"In common usage, the term `person' does not include the sovereign and statutes employing it will ordinarily not be construed to do so."
US Supreme Court in US v. Fox, 94 US 315:"Since in common usage, the term `person' does not include the sovereign, statutes employing the phrase are ordinarily construed to exclude it."
U.S. v. General Motors Corporation, D.C. Ill, 2 F.R.D. 528, 530:"In common usage the word `person' does not include the sovereign, and statutes employing the word are generally construed to exclude the sovereign."

You decide, however free thinkers are probably a threat as well.

kirsten weiblen
March 12, 2012 2:03 am

So people who go out of their way to embroil honest, hard-working farmers in this crap just to make a political point can just "ride free". After compromising said farmer, they ask where they can get their next glass of raw milk.

lola granola
March 12, 2012 2:35 am

"So people who go out of their way to embroil honest, hard-working farmers in this crap just to make a political point can just "ride free"."

You got it, Kirsten. Farmshares/herdshares are corporations and are subject to regulation by the state, just as Paul as shown us above, as they are legal "persons" and not sovereigns. You have natural rights as a sovereign, but not as a "person". The question is then this: why is FTCLDF consulting farmers to become corporate "persons" when these same farmers can sell milk legally as sovereigns? Answer the question and you've cracked the conspiracy.

Shana Milkie
March 12, 2012 2:35 am

This is just horrible. I'm so sorry to hear that James Stewart was treated so awfully. Whether he's guilty or innocent, he deserves to be treated like a human being.

This kind of links back to David Gumpert's restroom incident at Vernon Hershberger's hearing. What in the world are the court workers doing, preventing people from using the restroom? The few times I've been in court (a couple of jury duty cases and attending a water pollution hearing), people were walking in and out all the time. I hope for the next hearing that there is an even bigger crowd!

Kristen Papac
March 12, 2012 2:41 am


Have I met you? Have we spoken on the phone? I do not like being attacked by you personally. I understand that you are emotionally and financially invested in Sharon's farm. It is clear that you think she is a wonderfully warm and caring person. Many people have told me just as much. She has her followers and friends, who doesn't?

It still doesn't take away the fact and reality that she is facing huge charges in two counties. It doesnt take away the fact that she never gave hard evidence of her feed, her animal numbers ANYTHING substantial to regain the trust of her customers. If you were in my position, a quick visit to the farm with some lemonade and chat on her gourmand equipped BBQ porch is not gonna cut it.

David et al:

So our prison system and justice system is corrupt, nothing new there. Prison guards are not typically nice to inmates, nothing new there. I listened to
Mike Adams interview James yesterday recounting his "abuse". I had to stifle giggles from Mr. Adams' line of questioning at several points. It was a horrendous time for James to be sure. Maybe he can change his focus from raw milk to helping reform the Los Angeles downtown jail which is known to be subhuman. Did he expect special treatment because he is a "milkman"? He said himself he was treated better in Ventura. Why does this "movement" seek to set him up as the victim when the environment of the LA jail certainly wasn't personally ABOUT JAMES STEWART.

As for the sovereign issue, that is something seemingly more sinister which I am still trying to wrap my head around. Its easy to fall into the fear and paranoia promulgated by the "journalism" of the Natural News/Alex Jones ilk. Paranoia sells evidently. But a loss of the bill of rights is certainly not a light subject.

Keep on questioning EVERYTHING !!!

Barney Google
March 12, 2012 8:53 am

Thank you Paul,

once again someone else has contributed more to the conversation, than the so called hero's of the raw milk movement;

Karen Goeben
March 12, 2012 1:09 pm

I am truly horrified at the treatment this man went through. I cannot believe they are trying to make him into a terrorist? I am also stunned by some of the comments here. What will you say when they come for you? If you are for the movement of food freedom or not, we should all be very concerned about the actions our government is taking all because people want to produce and consume the food of their choice! Such a simple, fundamental right!

We have the right to produce our own food. Most families do not own pasture space for a cow. The arrangement for a caretaker of a cow is not a corporation.

Michael Schmidt was right, it is going to get much worse before it gets better. What can we do?

Gordon Watson
March 12, 2012 2:19 pm

When we started the Home on the Range cowshare, I deliberately did not ask the Province of British Columbia for recognition as any kind of a legal entity … we didn't have to get a licence to do jointly, that which is quite legal for an individual or a group of individuals, to do

Thus, our herdshare is not a Person in the eyes of the law. It is an ad hoc group of individuals who associate ourselves for a certain purpose, ie. dairying for our own sustenance. We don't need a licence to feed ourselves.

A model of our herdshare is ; a constellation of individuals surrounding a central point = in which each shareholder has a private contract with the Agister, at the centre. But the key point is that the shareholders are NOT contracted with each other. Most of them have never even met the others.

It could be said that our herdshare is 'in the nature of" a limited partnership. It could easily be registered with the Registrar as such. But why do that if we don't have to? Then we'd be a creature of the govt. and subject to laws which we now are not. We are bringing back into remembrance the proper use of the term "private enterprise".

One thing you sure don't want to do is to use the term "common law trust". It's the red flag which brings down the heat. …what you really want to find out about, is : 'adhesion contracts", in which you're snared without even knowing it

Those who are serious about the meanings of all the legal lingo = 'sovereign', etc = especially their implications in this year of our Lord 2012, would do well to head on over to Isabella Missouri and take George Gordon's School of Law. He's been dairying since 1950. He cured his arteriosclerosis with raw cream. He made and lost a few million $$, before he figured out what's really going on in the Soviet-ized states of Ham-merica. On issues such as the tragic state of the constitution, he's a good third of a century ahead of anyone else.

As for how it all works with the word "Person", contact David Kevin Lindsay … the man is a genius. … he's spent the last 15 years reseaching it and putting his findings to the test in Courts in Canada.

March 12, 2012 9:19 pm

Interesting NYTimes opinion piece:


J. Harvie Wilkinson III, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, is the author of Cosmic Constitutional Theory: Why Americans Are Losing Their Inalienable Right to Self-Governance.

Sylvia Gibson
March 12, 2012 9:21 pm

"The torture included being deprived of meals, being shackled for hours so tightly he couldn't move, being kept in 50-degree confinement cells with only a thin short-sleeve shirt, and being kept in solitary confinement."

If this is fact, then it appears he has a good case to sue the county…inhumane treatment, etc. I'll be waiting to hear about this potential suite against the county, if he doesn't sue then those committing the crime only get stronger and non-action would further harm any movements.

They didn't get Capone for murder, it was tax evasion…

lola granola
March 12, 2012 9:33 pm

"The arrangement for a caretaker of a cow is not a corporation."

Unfortunately, this statement most oftentimes is not true. In Wisconsin, the farmers that have been persecuted (with the exception of Vernon, whose farm is in a trust) have had their farms in LLCs – limited liability companies – and this is what has allowed them to sell stock in their farms to members ("member" is the legal term for an LLC stockholder, Wis. statutes 183.0102 (15)). And as corporations – creations of the state – they are bound to abide by the statutes of the state.

It is for this reason that the Craigs and Zinnickers were taken to court, and it is the reason that they lost. If you read the court's decision, you will notice that the judge uses the term "person" – as in, "no person has the right to…". With the word "person", which we see is a legal term, he means "corporation". His decision is consistent with the statutes. If we are outraged by his decision, it is because we do not understand statutory law and how it works.

It would be best for everyone in the raw milk movement to understand how we (unintentionally) entangle ourselves with the state, so we can make educated decisions and understand how a legal challenge would be concluded if one were made. I am dismayed beyond no end that FTCLDF keeps endorsing these arrangements, as with my current understanding of the law, I don't possibly see how they could win. As for someone challenging the state's authority as a sovereign, now that's something I'd like to see.

Gordon Watson
March 12, 2012 11:55 pm

I should have included in the explanation of how our cowshare is set-up in BC, that the herd of cows is recognized by Jersey Canada. Membership in the HOTR syndicate changes as shareholders come and go, over time. Jersey Canada is an organization authorized by federal statute of the Dominion of Canada, to oversee the herds book and genetic "brand name" to do with Jersey Cattle. Ownership of the herd is acknowledged as being in the name of "HOTR syndicate", which is an ad hoc appellation. That syndicate is not, itself, registered anywhere else in the govt. hierarchy.

going back into the mists of time in British jurisprudence, even up to the modern Income Tax Acts in Canada – it is well understood that a "herd" is one single animal, or more. For instance, one stallion standing at stud qualifies as "farming', for tax purposes. Individual animals in a 'herd' ( of any species) may change due to various circumstances, yet that entity continues.

One of the tests of legal "personality" in the raw milk controversy, would be, if there were to be a serious case of illness arising from the milk produced by a cowshare, actually traceable to the milk as a vector, would the various members of the cowshare be individually liable for a claim against the group made by an unhappy member? I doubt it. Reason being, our simple agreement for Agistment services is iron-clad. A new member states on paper, with a witness, that they understand the risks of consuming raw milk, and with that understanding, they waive legal recourse against the Agister.

Cowsharing is not for lemmings who prefer to live in the daze of social-ism's cradle-to-grave stultifying embrace. Self-government belongs to those who are willing to govern themselves.

Bill Anderson
March 13, 2012 12:51 am

Ironic you say this, Gordon, since a cow-share (like other forms of CSA or Community Supported Agriculture) IS a type of socialism — a cooperative economy where the public takes direct and democratic ownership of the means of production.

As for the court rulings which Paul G. cites, I believe that in those cases the term "Sovereign" is refering to the state, not to an individual (ala Thomas Hobbes). I could be wrong… I'm not a lawyer, but that is how I would read that legalese.


In any case, the stituation with James Stewart is by no means unique. There have been ongoing hunger strikes for the last year, in California prisons, over the general inhumane treatment there. See the below link. It should not be surprising in this age of capitalist-imposed austerity that the prison-industrial complex would be taking such shortcuts at the expense of human rights.


Gayle Loiselle
March 13, 2012 1:32 am

lola granola, "It is for this reason that the Craigs and Zinnickers were taken to court, and it is the reason that they lost." You have it backwards, the Craige and the Zinnikers filed suit against the state, the state did not file suit against them, and they have not lost, it's not over yet. There are many different angles being played out in Wisconsin's food freedom movement, all working toward the same goals.

Corporations can and do produce and distribute food, why sould they not be owned and operated by ethical people who produce and distribute healthy real food including raw dairy?

Why are so many of you so against business? Who do suggest employ and feed the 7 billion people on the planet? The majority of who have no ability to produce thier own food let alone own a cow.