Originally, I hadn’t planned to write a second part to this “birth certificate bond” thing. I figured it was a “one and done” deal, and I’d move on to trying to decide what to write for the next week. But then, a reader named Menzo made this comment about my article:
You truly are a financial geek. TMI to the extreme. What I wanted to know almost immediately, but never got answer to, is what is the motivation for a person to post a website about “birth certificate bonds”? Is this a scam or some kind of a silly joke or a conspiracy theory?
I’ll cop to the charge of being a “financial geek.” But, in retrospect, I have to confess I’m not geek enough. It never occurred to me to ask why someone would believe what is, on the surface (as well as after a deeper dive), patently obvious nonsense. But now, thanks to Menzo, I can’t stop wondering. So fasten your seatbelts: we’re about to wade deep into the woo.
The big question to ask about any strange-sounding belief, whether it be Bigfoot or aliens or freemen on the land, or just the fact that your neighbor goes to a different church, is “what is the benefit?” And, sadly, it’s extremely easy to conclude that the answer to the question, “cui bono?,” is “scam artists.” Here’re a few examples, with no links back to the offending web pages (any emphasis in the quotes is from the original text):
You enter into a contract with an overseas bank that identifies, recognizes, acknowledges, endorses, and accepts the worth and value of your birth certificate bond. That bank agrees to accept your contract to issue an IBOE (International Bill of Exchange) at an affordable fee ($250.00 per birth certificate PROVIDED we have at least 20,000 individuals signing up) which will supply you at least 2 million dollars every year for the next 50 years. TAX FREE.
A $250 investment that returns a tax free $2,000,000 per year for life. What a steal, right?
Learn about your birth certificate, and the almost unlimited value associated with it.
You can regain control by authenticating your birth certificate at U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC. For complete information on how to own your “title” / birth certificate.
See: “About the Mis-use of Proper Birth Names”
Order Redeem Your Birth Certificate Information $75.00
Clicking the link takes you to a page that will send you instructions on how to order a $75 CD with complete instructions. Compared to the first page I quoted, that’s an outright steal!
So it’s all just fraud? How… boring.
Well, not so fast. Sure, there are con artists out there. Birth certificate bonds, like all woo, have their snake-oil salesmen who will promise you the world and everything in it in exchange for just a few dollars. But again, like all woo, it’s not just hucksters trying to make a buck. A number of the web sites I reviewed while reading this article aren’t selling anything (other than an idea), and that idea is a general world view where shadowy cabals are dedicated to suppressing the truth and only brave men (and, sometimes, women) embracing their sovereign god-granted rights can stand against them. Here’s a sampling of the language these sites use, when talking about the birth certificate bond and the process they describe for accessing it (again, emphasis as presented in the original):
“Yes, it CAN set us free from government oppression & control.” This particular web site was also adorned with buttons declaring “God Bless America” and “No New World Order” and “Caution! New World Order Is Here! Resist! Fight!”
“You don’t own yourself — the Federal Reserve does.” The web site this quote came from also included articles such along the lines of “Does Modern Music Make You Violent” (promoting a conspiracy claim that the “A=440 hertz was created by Joseph Goebbels”), “Why Did Big Pharma Stop Making An Effective $2 Cure For Cancer?” (which is just what it sounds like), and “Did Clovis Witness Massive Plasma Event?” (which starts with American Indian petroglyphs and ends with an entertaining idea that a coronal mass ejection caused an aurora visible in New Mexico and Australia).
“The birth certificate thus becomes a form of theft, the theft of the child’s true identity as a free child of God to a servant of the State,” another site claims. “By affixing a national seal of approval to a child, the state denies the freedom, rights, and dignity that God has ordained in the scriptures. You don’t need proof that you were born, you breathing is proof enough for these hypocrites. By requiring a license, the state is claiming complete control and ownership over your liberty, and property. Christ’s assembly does not exist on paper, but in the hearts of men, and is expressed in their outward acts. Because there is no breath of Life from God in such pieces of paper, we should not look to them for any authority for doing anything. Each of us is a sovereign and each one of us was given unalienable rights by God we do not need to have our birth registered.”
Really, most of them have a specific ideological bent. It’s a sort of right-wing conspiratorial Christian theology, one that holds that the United Nations is the embodiment of the seven-headed 10-horned dragon from the Revelation of Saint John the Divine and that the Antichrist is whichever political figure they dislike the most. And it’s a theological bent I find distressingly familiar from my own childhood.
Really? You believed in this Birth Certificate Bond thing, once?
No, I didn’t. But I grew up in a fringe fundamentalist Christian sect, fringe enough that most Christian religions don’t consider them Christian. They weren’t bad people, not really—they taught the importance of family, and living a Christlike life, and being a good citizen of the country you live in. But there was a strong undercurrent to the message that was taught in every sermon and every religious education class: we are Right, and everyone else is Wrong. We have the Truth, and we must convince the world that we have the Truth. The sect wallowed in the tribal thinking that humans use by reflex—we were the Chosen, the Elect, the ones who possessed secret knowledge and wisdom and to whom God had revealed the Truth. Everyone else was to be pitied as ignorant, and loved, and converted. And, like all True Believers, trying to argue them out of their beliefs just reinforced the belief; counter-evidence was the seductive lies of the devil, and evidence that they knew the Truth and Satan was working against them to destroy God’s kingdom.
All of these birth certificate bond sites remind me of that sect. Not the message itself, although it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that people in that sect have a disproportionate number of believers in the idea, but the way the message is presented. The birth certificate bond people have the Truth. They know the New World Order is out there, and they know we are slaves. They know that we can free ourselves, and they have a mission to reveal that truth to the rest of us. And any counter-arguments are just proof to them that the New World Order is more powerful than they had originally believed—just look, they say, at how willingly the slaves embrace the lies the “Power Elite.”
None of them ever seem to stop to ask something important, though: if this works, why do the people who are selling the information to access these bonds need to sell the information? Surely the ones who know how to do this have already done it, are now worth millions or even billions, and don’t need $75 – $250 per head to reveal their secrets anymore?
But, then again, that’s the sort of question that an agent of the International Bankers would ask.