Asheville – A group of Buncombe County citizens have determined the schools have no authority to require students to wear masks, or take vaccinations, or sit through lectures on critical race theory for that matter. North Carolina law requires the wearing of masks, but these people cite as their authority the Magna Carta, or even their hearts.
They impaneled their own civil grand jury. This is not a grand jury as set up in North Carolina General Statutes, but one of their own design. They claim any citizen has the right to form a grand jury. The names of the jurors need not be made public, and all deliberations are held in private.
Last week, this group published three findings of its civil grand jury. The first was, “that the People have the innate authority and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they need to wear a mask. Business owners may also decide this issue for their business and whether they want their customers to wear masks. The State may only inform and make recommendations on this issue keeping in mind that they can and will be held responsible for their words and deeds and any breach of fiduciary duty.”
In papers served to the county, the civil grand jury instructed members of the school board to, “notify all of the school personnel and give notice to the public and all parents by radio, TV, newspaper and internet that the wearing of masks is at the option of the parents. The commissioners were instructed to give the same kind of notice to the People and all businesses.
The second was, “that neither the County nor State has the authority to compel any of the People to take a COVID vaccination or deny them any right enjoyed by those who have decide to get vaccinated. Suffice it to say that real science was presented and acted upon with respect to vaccines which Big Pharma has no fiduciary duty or responsibility to anyone in the event they are harmed, which has happened too many times.” The boards were, “hereby instructed to give notice” as spelled out above.
Thirdly, “Since the teachers and administrators alike have now been informed that the parents claim their estates which includes their children, the Grand Jury hereby instructs the Buncombe County School and all of its teachers, administrators, and all others that they must not be taught Critical Race Theory or the same by any other name without the express written consent of the individual parents. If some or any parents should so desire this for their children, the school can accommodate those parents at its discretion.”
School personnel were further ordered to refrain from offering students medical equipment, procedures, or tests and from speaking about anything outside of reading, writing, math, physical education, history, or civics.
The notices were served, for dissemination, by the civil grand jury’s foreman, foreman pro-tem, secretary, and one other member. They were received by Commissioner Robert Pressley, school board liaison Kim Matthews, and somebody named Aaron at the sheriff’s office. The papers gave the implicated parties 72 hours, or until noon Saturday, August 28 to comply.
Speaking in the name of the People, the Buncombe civil grand jury made public one study published in JAMA Pediatrics as evidence. They added, “It is known and proven that gain of function research was conducted at UNC Chapel Hill until funding was taken away in 2014. Then Dr. Fauci and others transferred the research to the Wuhan lab and continued funding the research.” The People further complained that no charges of crimes against humanity had been filed by anyone against the peurveyors of government rules, recommendations, and mandates on masks and vaccines.
More Background –
Information the group constituting the citizens’ grand jury provided about themselves cited an unauthored white paper, “The Civil Grand Jury: The Penultimate Exemplar of Government of, by, and for the People.” It included an article, “Time to Indict the Political Class!” by activist attorney Larry Klayman, who wrote, “The civil grand jury is the surety of the peace. Any problems with government must be resolved by the grand jury. The civil grand jury has the last word – no appeal.” Klayman is now using these grand juries to indict Hunter Biden and Dr. Fauci.
More seriously, the Buncombe civil grand jury does not accept the 1971 North Carolina constitution. They cite former NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall’s claim that the state is a “federal instrumentality,” as well as other legitimate concerns about government overreach, as cause to revert to the 1776 version of the state constitution.
Another document was provided on de jure (by right) grand juries in the “North Carolina republic.” It read like bylaws, but Googling strings of text did not return any sources. It explains, “the one supreme Court established in the Constitution for the United States of America republic c. 1787, at Article III refers to a sovereign court, the one supreme Court. Because the for profit, corporate US Supreme Court was later created by Congress, it is inferior to the sovereign one supreme Court as are all other for-profit, incorporated courts.”
To qualify for impanelment, potential jurors must be of age and sound mind and also residents of “north carolina republic” for at least a year. What exactly constitutes citizenship in said jurisdiction is not spelled out, although one website, ncrepublic.org, exists for citizens living within the territory of the State of North Carolina, but with no desire to adhere to what most people consider its statutory authority. This de jure state requires taxes of $125 or five silver dollars a year, and it even has people seated in offices that parallel those of North Carolina. For example, John Ainsworth is District 39’s senator and Jill Ainsworth is its representative.
According to the document, all de jure grand jurors have, “sworn to and signed the Restore America Declaration and accepted as contracts the Constitution of North Carolina c. 1776 and the Constitution for the United States of America.” The space for contact information simply read, “(insert mailing address, phone number(s), and e-mail address.”
First Blush –
After reading the documents supplied, the first task was to study up on civil, or citizens’, grand juries. In the process, concerns multiplied. What little came up on Google linked their cases to right-wing conspiracy theories and noted these juries’ cases were often thrown out of courts recognized by official state and federal governments.
The three quotes supplied from Supreme Court justices, two from the Honorable Antonin Scalia and one from Henry Brown, had been taken out of context. They were all written about grand juries impaneled in accordance with law, not some form of extragovernmental activity.
Much in the provided material construed terms like “the people” to apply literally to people instead of to any governmental agencies formed by the people, as is now done. In legalese, this would not constitute a reasonable interpretation within the four corners of the documents.
The legal (or pseudolegal) documents provided were not boilerplate generated in any official governmental capacity. Text was of a cut-and-paste nature, demonstrating familiarity with legal philosophy, but containing more grammatical errors than one would expect from a student of law. The ideas and vocabulary expressed did, however, have much in common with ncrepublic.org. The groups more likely share a common source of doctrine than codependence.
The main questions were, since their civil grand juries were not authorized in accordance with North Carolina General Statute 15A-622, which only requires that grand juries be impaneled by a superior court, what did their purveyors expect them to accomplish? How could they conduct a fair investigation without authority to subpoena, and how would they enforce their decisions? It did not help that the grand juries deliberated in secret.
There were also questions about the wisdom of the scheme. First of all, the country is in a very precarious position when one political party claims people can die if cooperative action is not taken, and the other half says the threat is a hoax and they don’t want to cooperate. A simple Archimedean wager favors the side of caution, but that means nothing to those whose science says there is no risk.
Another concern is what happens when anybody asserts their sovereignty to call a civil grand jury. Are citizens at-large now responsible for knowing what all the various grand juries decide? And, what if two citizen grand juries come to different conclusions. After all, those behind the citizens’ grand jury movement don’t respect the sovereignty claimed by the government of North Carolina, so why should the government respect theirs?
Enter Mike –
When the Tribune contacted the proverbial person familiar with the matter, she patched an individual who identified as Mike Flanagan into the conversation. A bombastic personality, Flanagan made it immediately clear that all questions about authority were moot.
First, he insisted that these juries are not “citizen grand juries,” but “grand juries,” the only juries in the land authorized by the Constitution. A little further into the conversation, it became clear that some of the items in the documents were not as poorly-written as supposed; they really were written by somebody who vested no authority in the state.
Flanigan explained, “We don’t have states anymore.” Everything has been federalized since 1971, with states only being federal instrumentalities and courts being capitalist enterprises. “Everything you think you know about where you live is a lie.” Indeed, the would-be interviewer seemed unable to utter a sentence without misguidedly appropriating lies from the so-called State of North Carolina. “The only [governing] organization is of, by, and for the people.”
Asked what the group would do after the 12pm deadline Saturday, Flanagan said nothing more needed to be done, as the grand jury had already ruled that neither masks nor vaccines were needed. A child need only present his teacher or principal with the grand jury findings. “The people have spoken.” At this point, the interviewer did not bother to ask why the few on the grand jury represented “the people” better than the majority in a referendum.
As for the fate of the commissioners and school board, Flanagan insisted the grand jury didn’t want to make trouble for anybody; however, those people not following the grand jury’s orders could be guilty of sedition or treason. “We just want them to follow the Constitution,” Flanagan assured, “Is the de facto corporate state going to obey the people or not?” he asked before suggesting the story might need an entirely different headline on Monday.
They jurors informally decided to roll the consequences over to the next business day, but, since the deliberations of a grand jury are private, they could not divulge what those consequences were. Muffled laughter could be heard, and it was difficult to discern if these people were sadists or if maybe the consequence was to hit each seditionist in the face with a pie. “You have to wait and see,” repeated Flanagan, adding what follows could, “lead to a major Constitutional crisis.”
Flanagan is what folks in law enforcement refer to as a “sovereign citizen,” someone who answers only to himself. Flanagan said he had nothing to do with groups like ncrepublic.org. “I think for myself.”
Ask an Expert –
Michael Badnarik, a Constitutional scholar who is always good about returning calls, had already received an email inquiry, so when he picked up the phone, he began, “Did the Founding Fathers get permission to write the Declaration of Independence?”
“I know where you’re going with this.”
Badnarik next launched into an elaboration. He said there is a higher law that precedes the Magna Carta, and that is conscience. The creator is always more powerful than the created. Man is real. Government is an abstraction that was created by man and can be destroyed by man. With the Constitution, people still refer to paper and debate whether or not something is true based on what the Constitution says, what the Bill of Rights says, or what the Supreme Court ruled it to say. Adults, he said, know what is right in their hearts, and they should have the courage to act on it. Instead, they’ve been raised to be dependent on authority, and if that’s not available, they pretend to group-think and conform with others.
So, when the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of gun rights in District of Columbia vs. Heller, he received a dozen phone calls the first hour, all from people wanting to congratulate him and share in the cheer. Instead, they found he was disappointed. He explained he didn’t need the SCOTUS to tell him he had a right to life and to protect it. Instead, he was concerned about the four expletive-deleteds that voted against gun rights. Government didn’t give him anything he didn’t already have.
Badnarik continued, saying one either has a right or they don’t. He has a right to carry, and he will carry, and he will talk to somebody for 12 hours to explain why they can’t take away his right to carry, and if they try –
Moving right along, as for de jure courts specifically, Badnarik said they’re legitimate, because they’re, by definition, by right. He was asked if it wouldn’t be chaotic; that is, couldn’t a clique of seventeen band together to try the prom queen on trumped-up charges in secret so the runner-up could sit on the throne for the parade? Badnarik said that wouldn’t happen, as the trials could only cover Constitutional matters. So, what if a lot of little grand juries come to a lot of different conclusions on the same principles?
Badnarik didn’t think people – outside the federal government – were that self-serving or inept. He was, however, dismayed at the stupidity of anybody who didn’t see COVID was a hoax. For decades, he has said of mandatory vaccinations, “You bring your syringe, I’ll bring my 45, and we’ll see which one makes a bigger hole.” He added, “If government were to get on TV and tell everybody to get down on all fours and bark, it would sound like a kennel from Atlantic to Pacific.”
Badnarik used to teach classes on the Constitution, but he’s given up. He thought he could sound some alarms and educate people about what was at stake, but nobody was listening. A few people are trying to help, but he said they were like people running around with Dixie cups of water trying to put out a forest fire: too little, too late. “Water’s good, but there aren’t enough of you.” He thinks there is still time for peaceful solutions, but those who appreciate the Constitution seem satisfied to simply complain.
The County Speaks –
Buncombe County, which would have been in the position of defendant had the de jure grand jury not denied them their defense, was contacted for a statement. Attorney Mike Frue replied, “The documents were hand-delivered to the sheriff’s office a couple days ago. I will work with our PIO on a response.”
Later that day, the response arrived. It looked like a header without a letter, then a joke. It read, “Happy Friday, thanks for the outreach. Buncombe County’s current emergency declaration that face coverings are required of all Buncombe County residents and visitors in any indoor spaces in public spaces, serves to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others during the current surge in COVID cases the county is experiencing. We have no further information to add regarding a citizen grand jury. Thanks.”
And here we were all worried about parallel governments, charges of treason, chaos and all that.