Sunday, March 9, 2014

#947: David Wynn Miller


A.k.a. Judge: David-Wynn: Miller (what he prefers to be called)

David Wynn Miller is a Milwaukee-based tax-avoidance activist affiliated with the Sovereign Citizen Movement, who claims exemption from income tax liability on various pseudolegal grounds, in particular a lack of jurisdictional applicability. He is the originator of an incoherent ideology that invokes a supposedly mathematically-based variation of the English language (no, not Montague grammar). That is, Miller believes that inserting punctuation into one's name changes one’s legal status (a rather common pseudolaw practice). Specifically, in what might be termed the most idiotic use-mention fallacy ever committed, he believes that this turns a person into a “prepositional phrase”, as opposed to a citizen, and thus exempts one from having to pay income taxes.

Apparently the government is also seeking to control the population by controlling grammar. Turning yourself into a prepositional phrase is a way to escape. Or so it seems. Getting a clear idea about what Miller thinks is somewhat tricky; sample quote from his website: “FOR THE FORMS OF OUR PUNCTUATIONS ARE WITH THE CLAIM OF THE USE: FULL-COLON=POSITION-LODIO-FACTS, HYPHEN=COMPOUND-FACTS =KNOWN, PERIOD=END-THOUGHT, COMMA-PAUSE, AND LOCATION-TILDES WITH THE MEANINGS AND USES OF THE COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE FULL-COLON OF THE POSITION-LODIAL-FACT-PHRASE WITH THE FACT/KNOWN-TERM OF THE POSITIONAL-LODIO-FACT-PHRASE AND WITH THE VOID OF THE NOM-DE-GUERRE = DEAD-PERSON”. Precisely. In fairness, though, the thought he sought to express in that passage can probably not be put much more sensibly in any other way. Miller refers to his syntax as QUANTUM-LANGUAGE-PARSE-SYNTAX-GRAMMAR and asserts that it constitutes “correct sentence structure communication syntax,” and that his language is “for the stopping-claims of the Theft, Cheating, Fraud, Slavery and War.”

His career seems to consist of appearing in courts around the world on behalf of others, claiming to be a judge (“plenipotentiary judge”) eligible to practice anywhere on the planet. In the courts he asserts things such as that the dots between the words of the motto on the New South Wales coat of arms in a court mean the court has no jurisdiction. His success rate in court is rather modest. So is the success rate of others who have tried to use his syntax in court; for instance:
- In 1998 Miller assisted Illinois resident George Johnson in his legal defense against child molestation charges; Johnson was convicted and returned to prison in 1999.
- In 2001, Paul and Myrna Schuck unsuccessfully used Miller’s language during a tax-evasion trial in Calgary; they were later sentenced to jail after claiming postage affixed to their clothing and signed by them made them legally equivalent to royalty.
- In 2002, Miller was profiled when Milwaukee-based accountant Steven Allen Magritz was jailed after engaging what authorities called “paper terrorism,” or filing large numbers of legal claims against perceived enemies, as part of the sovereign citizen anti-government movement, and partially influenced by Miller’s belief that people don't need to pay taxes if they can “prove that money is a verb;” Magritz failed to do that, and was convicted in 2003.
- The same year Wisconsin residents Janice K. Logan and Jason Zellmer (Miller’s cousin) were convicted of “simulating legal process” by filing documents which purported to be legal documents from the jurisdiction of the “Unity States of the World,” an idea they got from Miller; Miller testified at the trial, remarking for instance that the genesis of Truth-language was when he “turned Hawaii into a verb,” and showed “how a preposition is needed to certify a noun.”
- In 2008, Rita Makekau was convicted of eight counts of assault and one count of domestic abuse for injuring five children in her care with hammers and knives; she challenged her child abuse conviction in 2009 by claiming her sovereignty group, Hawaiian Kingdom Government, declared her innocent, and Miller said he is the group’s spokesperson and is a “plenipotentiary judge, ambassador and postmaster.”

Miller claims to have 1 billion adherents worldwide, and has claimed that Bill Clinton and the entire Supreme Court of the United States were his students. He does have some adherents, however, and his ideas have been linked to the delusions of Jared Loughner (though Miller claims that Loughner must have been brainwashed by the Air Force).

The SPL has a profile of Miller here.

Diagnosis: Among the most incoherently insane people in the US. And that doesn’t prevent him from having several followers. Tells you something, methinks.

6 comments:

  1. Hey G.D.

    I am just writing on your latest blog post, which has no relevance to the individual it happens to be about. I have been going through a lot of your posts, and I am wondering who you are and what your credentials are.

    Seeing as you incontinently throw around words like "crackpot, loon, fool, idiot," etc., I was wondering on what science you base these diagnoses on. Your writing skills aren't especially good (so we can rule out a lot of qualifications here). You don't seem to know much about science either, other than simply insisting on the status quo, just for the sake of insistence, but gladly link to other websites, written by similar minded individuals, who vigorously wish to cling on to the present-day established views and established institutions.

    I noticed that you don't really criticize religion itself. You don't criticize cults, sects, politicians (I have not read every single entry of yours, so please forgive me if I am wrong), psychiatric/pharmaceutical practices, corruption in government and business, and other established institutions.

    I don't think you're as stupid as you pretend to be, with all these puerile, half-baked 'opinions' of yours. Nothing on this site merits serious attention or academic scholarship. It's just one gigantic, poorly written, angry rant about people who are anti-establishment (be it establishment science, or otherwise).

    You must be a Randi fanboy (or at the very least, working with Randi to maintain similar interests). I don't think you're as angry as you pretend to be. I think there is some method to your madness.

    I want to make clear that I am neutral regarding the individuals you criticize here. I neither respect, nor disrespect any of the people you write about. I have no stake in it.

    However, it should be made clear, that while you criticize all these people for lacking in scientific and critical thinking skills, not once have you demonstrated scientific training or critical thinking skills yourself. I have looked hard to find some evidence for it -- but I have failed. All I see is a rant, some links to support your rant (written by similar-minded ranters), along with a "diagnosis," which has no basis in physics/biology/chemistry/medicine/psychology.

    My conclusion is this: you're a relatively low-level occultist, who has established a minor and rather insignificant internet presence, to continue his 'art' by yielding to the demands from 'higher up.'

    You'll label this as some nutty conspiracy theory, no doubt. That's fine, "G.D."

    You're safe, while you're 'anonymous.' We all know that quite a lot of intelligent and educated people would have a lovely field day with you, if only you had the testicular fortitude to at least include an email address, where people can contact you.

    I am pretty certain you will delete this comment or block it. So I'll take a screen shot, just to prove my point.

    My diagnosis of you: boring, pathetic, and ultimately useless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I know a bit of science and, in particular, scientific methodology, but I am not completely sure my credentials are really that relevant here. The purpose of the entries is to synthesize and organize already available material; I usually provide little or no new "research" or discussion. The links are supposed to provide either a discussion or at least suggestions on where to find the relevant material. The legimitacy of my critiques will thus rest on the legitimacy of the critiques provided in the material I link to (or, in some cases, to the original material, when this requires little further comment).

      And no, I don't discuss politics or religion. That's not the purpose. Instead, we call out people who display (recurrently) poor reasoning skills and blatant denialism concerning well-established and well-documented scientific results. Usually, their conclusions are based on a failure to appreciate how science works or how to properly assess evidence. That's what qualifies for being a "loon" as that notion is defined here - I readily admit that it is not a notion with any basis in physics, biology, chemistry, medicine or psychology. So what?

      Not that I think there is much point in saying so, but as opposed to what you seem to suggest, there is no insistence or defense of the status quo; people are not called out for making novel claims - they are called out for insisting that their novel claims are worth taking seriously, or true, without having any evidence beyond personal experience or a sense that their conclusions are intuitively right. And as anyone who knows the basics of critical thinking would be able to point out, personal experience, anecdotes and intuitions are not evidence for empirical claims, and the plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence". Making strong, novel, even crazy-sounding hypotheses is fine; thinking that those hypotheses are true without having actually done the arduous job of rigorously and meticulously comparing those hypotheses with reality, is not.

      "Nothing on this site merits serious attention or academic scholarship."

      I have no idea what to make of that ... criticism?

      "We all know that quite a lot of intelligent and educated people would have a lovely field day with you, if only you had the testicular fortitude to at least include an email address, where people can contact you."

      And that's precisely why I, unfortunately, am reluctant to include an email address on the site. Take the criticism to the Internet so that everyone else can see it as well and determine its merit or not, not to my inbox.

      "I am pretty certain you will delete this comment or block it."

      I cannot remember having deleted or blocked any comment that wasn't spam or involved some kind of threat (directed at someone other than me). The amount of spam means that I need to let comments go through moderation before I post them, however.

      Delete
    2. This is a marvelous site! Thanks so much for your work. David Wynn Miller continues to this day to suck in sad folks who actually believe his advice and intervention means something to courts.

      Delete
  2. I found a few more pundits of note
    Rick Moran (of the very aptly named Right Wing Nuthouse)
    Emperor Misha (of the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, not sure what his real name is, that's just what he goes by)
    Marc Morano
    Rev. Austin Miles (of RenewAmerica)
    Jason "Molotov" Mitchell (another WND guy)

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  3. Isn't this what ALL lawyers do? Play with words? Because this guy happens to be defending what most consider "archaic" (the US Constitution) he's crazy? I'm so tired of hearing how the sovereign movement represents domestic schizophrenics and murderers, etc. Many are people who are waking up to the deception, realizing our "govt" is made up mostly of private companies, all getting rich in bed with the sleazy politicians we voted to protect OUR best interests. They have been robbing us blind, changing laws behind our backs and without our consent, and violating the US Constitution from every angle, with 0% repercussions. They are criminals, I think most Americans would just like to have their constitutional rights restored, and are peacefully, intellectual people who might be angry, but would never resort to violence. I know several people w/sovereign status, among the smartest people I know - attorneys, doctors, etc. However unfortunately due to years of tyranny and scare tactics, most people (ie. me) are too scared to step up and claim our God-given rights at US citizens, fearing retaliation. And that's the sad truth. The only thing more horrifying than the government-induced propaganda & lies .. is the number of Americans who swallow it with little-to-no interest in researching. Shame on us, quite frankly I believe that as a nation we deserve what's coming to us. They've done a great job with the brainwashing, I give them that.

    ReplyDelete