Indiana RTV6 reports that “an increasing number of Indiana residents” are taking radical right-wing “tenther” beliefs to their logical extreme, declaring themselves “sovereign citizens” exempt from federal law and from paying taxes. These individuals claim their homes are embassies and have started “using identification cards that show them as diplomats.” The state reports that about 10 people a month have been asking for an official seal which supposedly exempts them from paying taxes. Some “sovereign citizens” have even refused to use drivers licenses or plates. When challenged by police, they show a homemade ID and claim that “no one can delay, detain or arrest them without facing damages of $2 million”:
There are plenty of American flags draped on homes along U.S. 36, a road that leads to the home of Donald Moore, who claims to be a diplomatic agent and ambassador — a mark of a so-called sovereign citizen.
Moore, a father of seven, and his wife invited 6News to their home, but decided not to appear on camera.
Moore is equipped with an official looking identification card and a badge, which he said means United States law doesn’t apply to him.
“It gives me diplomatic immunity,” Moore said, referring to the ID card. “The way I understand it, the federal government is incorporated, and all the states are incorporated. This takes me out of the corporation.”
Not surprisingly, state officials call these claims “both illegitimate and illegal.” “Just because you allege something or concoct yourself a document doesn’t mean you’re getting off the hook,” said Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita. Indeed, “sovereign citizen” Jonathan Dilley is serving a nearly 4-year sentence in federal prison after he tried to pay off more than $800,000 of debt by making his own currency. Similar groups of “sovereign citizens” have been reported in several other states as well.