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Self-styled outlaws

Two cases in court this week have involved people whose cause has been championed by John Hemming MP. First, on Monday, there was Vicky Haigh’s case. Today, a man called Norman Scarth, who’s in prison for contempt of court, has been refused habeas corpus by Wyn Williams J in the Administrative Court. He, too, is supported by John Hemming (see this video, at 1m 30s):

If you’ve been following as closely as I have, you may have noticed something a bit odd. According to this report by the Press Association’s media reporter of the Vicky Haigh case Elizabeth Watson, the woman jailed for contempt of court in that case as a result of her internet campaigning for Haigh

gave her name as “Elizabeth of the Watson Family”

You’ll also see that the title of today’s case is Norman of the Family Scarth (The Living Man) v (1) Governor of HM Prison Armley (2) Secretary of State for Justice.

That struck me as something of a coincidence, and after a little research, it turns out there are some people who call themselves “freemen on the land” (and perhaps freewomen on the land; I don’t know), who apparently adopt this sort of style. This blog for instance says that

In the “Freeman-on-the-Land movement, your name is written differently in a deliberate attempt to distance you from your person.

Names seem to be really important to “freemen on the land”. In this video, “Veronica: of the family Chapman” explains (at about 4m 20s) that in her view, the names most of us use are just a way for legal institutions to oppress us. She seems to run this website and this forum, where “freemen on the land” can gather. If you spend much time there you’ll see that “freemen on the land” seem to believe they can be in “lawful rebellion” against legal institutions, and discuss how to fight the council over council tax, among other things including (are you surprised?) “secret courts” and the “forced adoption of children”.

As a matter of interest, it seems former goalkeeper and snooker presenter David Icke is interested in the “freeman on the land” concept. One of his official forums is all about it.

You’ll find the odd “freeman” has apparently signed petitions being promoted by the “Forum for Stable Currencies”, an organisation apparently run by Sabine K. O’Neill, who I mentioned in my blogpost yesterday as having chaired a meeting at which John Hemming MP spoke in January, and having published Elizabeth Watson’s “chronology” of the Vicky Haigh case on the web. Signatory 340 here, for example, to a petition about family courts, calls himself “conrad of the family diraham”. As a matter of mild legal interest, on the same day that petition was also signed (number 353) by a Gedaljahu Ebert, who I dare say is this vexatious litigant. He spoke from the floor at that same January meeting John Hemming addressed, by the way. Signatory 1215 to this petition about Norman Scarth calls himself Simon of the Elder family. I can’t resist telling you that signatory 1991 calls himself “Colonel Muammar Gaddaffi”, and sends a message of support to Mr. Scarth.

I wouldn’t normally post about this sort of thing, but it is the silly season.

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  1. I know someone who subscribes to freeman of the land beliefs. Accusing people they don’t like of sex offences against children seems to be a common theme: apparently even the Queen is part of it!

  2. i tell you what, the fact that david icke is involved really puts a sheen of credibility on this movement. I must sign up immediately! perhaps they know the truth about the royal family being shapeshifters? or perhaps they could tell me the meaning behind ‘Lost’ which was all real as well you know.
    this stuff is almost as funny as the guy who renamed himself mr fuckucouncilshites so that the local council wouldnt post him any more council tax demands or whatever. the reason behind the name change was the same; subversion for personal gain.

  3. I’ve seen articles, websites and YouTube videos published by people who subscribe to similar beliefs. You can see it on sites like as well. Often these people give out legal advice such as “if your name is typed all in capitals it is not you” (e.g. a member of one of their websites received a demand from a debt collector that had their name in capitals and the advice of others on the website was that this person wasn’t them but rather a legal fiction and they didn’t need to do anything about it).

    I’ve seen arguments set out on websites etc. that states that John of the family Smith is legally different from John Smith and that John Smith is a “legal fiction” and that if you go around calling yourself (for example) John of the family Smith you can ignore anything that relates to John Smith. Indeed they go as far as saying Mr/Ms/Miss/Mrs Smith is different from [name] of the family Smith and can be ignored.

    Really, they all appear a bit deluded and simply want to avoid obligations like repaying money they borrowed or paying their council tax or something equally as “rebellious”

    A number of thoe charged in relation to the F&M occupation during the protests earlier in the year planned to not recognise the courts jurisdiction over them and to refuse to be called Mr/Miss etc.

    Another odd one is John Smith styled as John: Smith (my understanding is that this is the short version of John from the family Smith).

  4. With regard to your story on Norman Scarth, I wish to point out that, besides keeping Mr. Scarth in solitary confinement, without access to legal counsel (or the means of contacting one because the assigned phone line was denied him, and prison officers stole his postage stamps and necessary documents), Mr. Scarth is also being denied prescribed pain medication for extreme muscle cramping by Leeds Prison – a prison for serious offenders with the highest suicide rate in the country.

    Justice Wyn Williams of the royal Courts of Justice had to actually issue a court order, commanding Leeds prison to give Mr. Scarth the means by which to contact legal counsel – a right which is his in any case, but being denied. However, Justice Williams has TWICE REFUSED to order that the prison give Mr. Scarth is medication. This is a human rights issue, contravening EU & UN conventions.

    Everyone in all bodies purporting to be responsible for prison governance and oversight are aware of this issue, and continue to deny Mr. Scarth his medication, thereby causing physical and mental torture which could well cause heart attack or stroke, and therefore premature death. Similarly, Mr. Clarke and all members of parliament, including the Joint Committee For Human Rights are aware. As usual, Mr. Hemming was the only one to show concern, with the exception of one member of the House of Lords.

    Unlike John Mann, MP, who refused to help his constituent, Vicky Haigh, and Marsha Singh, MP, Norman Scarth’s errant MP, who similarly has not stepped in to help Norman, John Hemming is a man of conscience. John Mann has egg on his face for turning Vicky Haigh away, and has turned nasty to cover up . Most MPs do nothing for their constituents, and there is no parliamentary rule that mandates them to take on any case work. This is obviously a very serious problem as the majority of them are about as much use as firemen with wooden legs in any case, and do not deserve their positions.

    You may wish to update your readers while, at the same time, referring them to the following information.

    Until now, the prison service, police forces and immigration units have not been subject to the new Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act, and there have been no successful prosecutions of police or prison officers, individually or at a senior management level, for institutional failures that have contributed to a death in custody.

    But from 1 September a clause in the Corporate Homicide Act 2007 will come into place extending the law to cover all deaths in police custody suites, prison cells, mental health detention facilities, young offenders institutions and immigration suites. It will also cover Ministry of Defence institutions.

    Prosecutions will take place if it can be proved that the way the facilities are managed or organised caused a death and amounted to a breach of the duty of care. The penalty for organisations convicted is a fine with no maximum limit. Crown Prosecution Service guidance says that the fines are likely to be in the many millions of pounds.


    PS, Carl, There is also a very good story in the Express today.

    Both stories are well in keeping with Mr. Scarth’s case.

  5. Jean, I hardly think that John Mann has egg on his face for refusing to get involved with Vicky Haigh’s case. Given what has now been published, he seems to have exercised flawless professional judgment.

  6. Having made a complaint about the police after the G20 demos on April 1st 2009, I discovered a typical example of “Double speak”. The IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) was brought into being by the Police Reform Act 2002. The Act sets out the parameters for the operation of the IPCC. One of those is to do with the handling of complaints, 2(1) states that a complaint can only be referred to the relevant authority IF and ONLY IF the complainant is so content for it to be referred etc. However, in an act of defiance to the law, the IPCC sends out its standard letter saying that the IPCC is LEGALLY required to disclose complaints to the relevant authority. Indeed the complaint form the IPCC send out to people on which to write their complaint is falsely withholding that option, for nowhere on the form does it give any such option. The form is required to be signed giving the IPCC the permission to refer complaints to the relevant authority, and the IPCC refuse to accept complaints that are not so signed.

  7. Jonathan, most of these MPs refuse to get involved in ANYONE’S case because the don’t want to be bothered. It was nothing to do with judgement. If Vicky Haigh was lying (and you must remember, she has not been prosecuted and found guilty and you will have to be careful of libel here), then John Hemming and Christopher Booker are VICTIMS. Please don’t lose sight of that.

  8. Polonius has obviously never operated a chain saw. I have. I is impossible to operate a chainsaw with one hand. The police stated he had a chainsaw in one hand and a knife in the other. Total fabrication, and no weapon was produced in court because there was no chainsaw.

    I am sure Polonius is fully aware of corruption in the judiciary, police and legal profession. Many of them operate crime rings using the courts.

    Back to the drawing board, Polonius, if you live in a fairy land where there are no corrupt lawyers, police and judges.

    Norman Scarth won a case in the European Courts of Human Rights to have transparency and no secrecy in the courts. Someone didn’t like that and he has been persecuted ever since.

  9. You seem to be alleging that the Yorkshire Post’s report was false. Norman Scarth himself alleged it was libellous. He failed. Perhaps you’ll say that’s because both the media and the courts are out to get him.

  10. Exactly. Good analysis.

    The report sent out to the media by Court Reporter, Brian Farmer, on the case heard August 25 at the RCJ FAILED TO MENTION many facts. Could it have been deliberate, one might ask?

    Again, if anyone thinks that judges, lawyers, politicians, nd police are not corrupt, one only has to consider the News of the World scandal, expenses frauds, and much, much more.

    Perhaps you should rent “Manufacturing Consent” by the respected and celebrated Noam Chomsky.

    It may help you frame media stories in a truer context.

  11. Thanks for the very swift response, Jean.

    I notice you’re anxious to remind me about the risk of libelling Vicky Haigh, who it seems has been found in court to have made up a claim that her former husband abused their daughter, and to have coached her daughter to repeat the claim; yet you’re quick to imply that a journalist has distorted his reporting for some ulterior motive.

    I’m familiar with Chomsky, thanks.

  12. All I am saying is don’t believe everything you read. It is simply naiive. As far as I am aware, Vicky Haigh has not gone to trial.

    I you libel anyone you want. If you are a lawyer, you will no doubt get away with it. They get away with murder.

    Vicky Haigh may or may not have told lies. Neither of us can know for sure, simply based on what the court says. The courts have a lot of problems, as in the case of accusing Mr. Scarth of having three hands: two to operate a non-existent chain saw, and one to wield a knife.

    Get it?

    Yes, journalists do distort information. For example, if you read the summary judgement of Justice Wyn Williams from August 25, you will see that he mentions that he has twice refused to order that Norman Scarth receive his pain medication. The court reporter, sending out media releases to government media such as the BBC and the British Forces Network, made no mention of this in his article. Justice Wyn Williams is being deliberately cruel by denying Mr. Scarth his pain medications and is violatin EU & UN conventions.

    Stalinist Russia springs to mind.

    The ulterior motive is to sway public opion against Norman Scarth. I would have thought that was quite simple and obvious.

    Again, I must point out that if Vicky Haigh was lying (and she could well have been), then John Hemming, Christopher Booker and everyone else was a VICTIM.

    By calling for John Hemming’s resignation, John Mann makes himself look like an idiot, quite frankly, and nobody is fooled. The public turn to their MPs for help, and they deny them, over and over again.

    John Mann denied Vicky Haigh help. He is not psychic, I am sure, but simply lazy.

    John Lyon’s office advises that MPs are under no obligation to take on constinuency cases, and John Mann simply made sure he did not. It doesn’t make him Superman. It makes him as bad as the majority of lazy MPs who are in office for a free ride (plus expenses).

    One exception to this is John Hemming, who is honest, caring, and works very hard. So people like John Mann want him eliminated.
    It’s pretty simple. This goes on in every workplace the world over. Jealousy, fear, whatever. Most likely both in this case, beause there is no other justifiable reason why he should rush to condemn.

    I see he must be a friend of yours, or at least it appears so.

  13. @ Jean James,
    I think it is worth responding to your vague threats of possible libel by pointing out that a court has already found that Ms Haigh manufactured allegations of abuse and taught her child to repeat those allegations. A court, in short, has already found that she is a liar. One can safely state that comfortable in the knowledge that, unless Ms Haigh manages to find some new evidence that demonstrates the court’s finding was flawed, a justification defence to any libel action would be a sure-fire winner.

    Put another way, it ain’t libelous if it is true. And a court has already found that it is true. So you can call Ms Haigh a liar without needing to trouble yourself, if you wish.

    And, for what it is worth, John Hemming’s mistake wasn’t to try to help Ms Haigh. It was to provide a platform for Ms Haigh to tell her story. And to present her as a victim. Which, clearly, she wasn’t. But if Hemming would learn his lesson, publicly apologise to Mr Tune, the council and the judges involved in this case and exercise more caution in future, I think most people would forgive his error. The fact that he refuses to justifiably causes irritation—and shows poor judgement for an MP.

  14. Do excuse me re: The libel arguments but All of the legals including the Judges who sent Sally Clark, Trupti Patel and Angela Cannings – clearly got their judgments wrong. The real miscarriage of justice is that so many legals and judges “still” rely (particularly in the Family Courts) on the mere utterances of The Sir professor Roy Meadows theory (MSBP) thype – and his acolytes who only have to utter just enough for a judge to conveniently – convict.

    There are still too many quacks and charlatans making money from rhetorical and twisted drivel. And the miscarriages of justice will continue until the Judicial and legal world rid itself of those who they have used to get convictions. The snake-oil-salesmen.

  15. I wonder why you used the word THREAT, Mr. Nately?

    A bit sensitive, aren’t we?

    I don’t believe Mr. Hemming made any “mistake”. Regardless, injunctions are being abused, and that was his point. Neanderthal footballers who can’t keep their shorts on, but have a lot of money, shouldn’t be abusing the court system and resources ………. or do you think they should?

    I personally have a copy of an injunction that was used to silence a victim of serious white collar crime. This crime was committed by a high profile international law firm and and arms dealer, using the courts and a certain judge in order to steal property through the Court of Protection.

    Do you think this is right that the victim should be silenced for fear of going to prison?

    What everyone is failing to address here, is that INJUCTIONS ARE BEING ABUSED. Criminals with law degrees are deeply involved.

  16. the really telling thing is how the British media and particularly the local Bradford paper the T and A didnt report the matter at all while the Russian TV saw the importance of this judicial crime.

    The News of the World were the cheerleaders of the UK media who have fed the public with a tissue of lies for fifty or more years to keep the powers that be in power despite all their criminality and failures.

  17. Best not to engage with these ‘freeman’ types. Their views diverge so starkly from any sort of legal reality that debate is quite impossible.

    For example, here is their advice on how to handle a debt being enforced against you.

  18. The Problem with legals – who speak up their trade is that when they go to court – they don’t have the backbone to “Take Oath” [They hide connivingly / or should that be conveniently? behind – not actually giving “testimony” themselves ]

    The nail to the lying invertebrateness of ‘shysters’ [See Original dictionary meaning] is in the deception over what is a fact and what is an opinion. Here’s the best little saying to describe the difference

    “Facts are not opinions. [Opinions are Lawyerspeak] What happened and how you feel about it are two different things. And people should know which is which.”

    Carl – the good people are finding out all of the legal “tricks”, “ruses” and “rhetorical deceptions” – be careful about telling clients that they are the number one priority – when it’s the indemnyfying insurance protection which is the first priority!

    As for the FMOTL stuff there are good and bad bits. Education, Education,Education.


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