Recently I did a Google search for ‘Sovereign Citizen’s Movement,’ which will be the subject of an article I will be writing in the near future (please stay tuned). I have some ideas about how we are not being granted our natural rights and freedoms, and how we may be inadvertently authorizing our own enslavement. I wanted to get a handle on what it meant to become a ‘Sovereign Citizen,’ and what arguments can be made in favour of this concept. I hope to try to simplify the concepts and present them in a cohesive manner, as it relates to us taking back our power and sovereignty as a collective.
But as I read carefully through the content of my search results, and got a growing conviction that I would not easily find what I was looking for, it slowly got me thinking of writing a different article first—THIS article. Here is what I got on the first page of my search:
1. Wikipedia: Referencing Forbes writer J. J. McNab, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the FBI as primary sources
2. The Southern Poverty Law Center: ‘The strange subculture of the sovereign citizens movement, whose adherents hold truly bizarre, complex antigovernment beliefs…’
3. The FBI: ‘Today, we look at a third threat—the “sovereign citizen” extremist movement.’ (regarding terrorism)
4. Vox: Title: ‘Why some far-right extremists think red ink can force the government to give them millions’, referencing The Southern Poverty Law Center and the FBI as expert sources.
5. CTV News: Title: ‘Canada’s sovereign citizen movement growing, officials warn’
6. RationWiki: Sovereign Citizens’ beliefs are ‘based on idiosyncratic readings of the Declaration of Independenceand Bill of Rights.’
7. CBS News: ‘a movement the FBI now considers one of the nation’s top domestic terror threats.’
8. Forbes: ‘They generally entered the movement by buying into a scam or conspiracy theory that not only promised them a quick fix to their problems, but wrapped such solutions in a heavy layer of revolutionary rhetoric.’
9. The Anti-Defamation League: ‘The key distinguishing characteristic of the sovereign citizen movement is its extreme anti-government ideology, couched in conspiratorial, pseudohistorical, pseudolegal and sometimes racist language.’
10. PoliceOne: ‘The threat to officer safety posed by sovereign citizens is well known.’
Lol. And here I thought that doing a Google search on ‘Sovereign Citizen’s Movement’ would give me, oh, maybe, the ‘Sovereign Citizen’s Movement’ website? No such luck.
Nowhere In Sight
Things didn’t get much better on pages 2, 3 or 4 either, with ‘Cop Killer’ the most prevalent meme from a cursory scan of headlines. So I tried ‘Sovereign Citizens Movement Website.’ Same exact results as above. I finally found a Facebook link on page 3. Going onto the Facebook site, I noticed the last post was from January 2015, and there was a link to a chintzy website which was entitled ‘Sovereign Citizens American Liberty Merchandise’.
It’s like we are in the library and the books we really want are hidden up on the top shelf beyond our reach and all the step-ladders have been systematically taken away. Fortunately I will not be giving up on this, and will search tirelessly for a step-ladder or other implement around to find those books on the top shelf.
In the meantime, I wanted to take this opportunity to question whether Google is actually censoring content—does Google decide, as part of its algorithmic design, which narrative on a certain subject to favor?
In my search on ‘Sovereign Citizen’s Movement,’ does it not strike you as strange that Google scored 10 on 10 in providing me with content that was AGAINST the sovereign citizens movement, rife with scorn, derision, ridicule, and warnings? Does it not strike you as troubling that in doing a search on ‘Sovereign Citizen’s Movement’ I would not be given at some point on the first page the first-hand testimony of someone who advocates in favor of the Sovereign Citizen’s Movement, as a Sovereign Citizen themselves, within a ‘Sovereign Citizen’ website?
Clearly, any movement that brings into question the ability of governments to tax people and adhere to their rules of control would at minimum be a nuisance, and may very well have the potential to strike at the heart of their very existence if not kept in check. Hence, it just makes perfect sense that if the powerful elite has some measure of control over Google, Facebook, YouTube and the like, they would do everything in their power to characterize the Sovereign Citizen’s Movement as a lame collection of violent nutjobs just trying to evade crimes they have committed (or plan on committing).
The Bigger Implications
It is certainly disenchanting to think, as an alternative media journalist seeking to uncover the truth, that the largest tool at my disposal, the gateway to the internet, is actually working to redirect me back to content that only serves the mainstream media and the perception it is trying to maintain.
It further suggests to me that whenever I write something that speaks against the carefully controlled mainstream perception—like the Sovereign Citizen’s Movement, which brings into question the current government and its authority over citizens—people will not be given fair access to my content, even if it’s of great interest to them.
What We Can Do Right Now
We can all do our own investigative work. I will certainly be looking more into the reach and level of bias of Google searches in the future. In the meantime, I would like to suggest that this situation is a call for all those who are interested in seeking out the truth to be more deliberate in the way their digital content comes into view. Rather than following whatever pops up or is trending, it might serve you better to set yourself up to be alerted to all the content you want to see and read. Here are a few recommendations if you haven’t already done them:
1. Sign up to daily newsletters from the websites you love. You can do so with CE’s here.
2. Set the pages you like to ‘See First’ in your News Feed. This can be done quite easily and will help to keep you informed. Simply hover over the “Following” button and click “See First.”
3. Download mobile apps that belong to the sites you love to stay in touch with them.
4. Manually go to a website or Facebook page each day to stay up to date.
5. Join any existing communities your favourite websites might have. You can join CE’s here.