A number of years back, my friends Bruce and Nancy Cole Silverman of the Los Angeles area told me a hair-raising story.
Seems a house that Nancy owned had been taken over by – were they crazies? Were they right wing neo-Nazi fanatics? Were they forgers acting on bizarre economic and legal theories? Were they a gun-toting militia? Or were they just plain outright thieves?
Turns out they were all of the above. Posing first as simple renters, they ended up trying to claim Nancy’s house lock, stock and deed, using a variety of forged documents. The FBI got on the case and Nancy finally got her house back. But not before the so-called "sovereign citizens" who tried to rip her off caused enough grief to turn your hair gray and leave you chewing on a stick.
Recently, Nancy (That's her on the left.) told the story as a work of fiction called “When In Doubt—Don’t!” I’m not in love with the title nor with the off-topic book jacket design, but the story is both a can't-put-it-down chiller and a romance, whose timeliness has been amplified by a recent article in the New York Times.
I strongly recommend that you read the Times article here, before racing off to Amazon.com to order Nancy’s book, here. But when you do, understand that these batcrap crazy thugs, somewhere to the right of the right wing Tea Party movement, are what happens when ignorance and misinformation gets not only tolerated in this society, but allowed to flourish as a business, driven by "educational seminars" that the Federal Trade Commission ought to sledgehammer out of existence.
Ignore these sociopathic lunatics (that’s the most charitable description I can use to describe the "sovereign citizens" movement and its members) and it could affect your credit rating, your ability to find a job, your peace of mind – and many thousands of dollars in legal fees, even if, after months or years of clearing up fraudulent liens against your property, you get to keep the house you bought and paid for.