Why Sam Girod’s Martyrdom Does Us All a Disservice

The Amish salve maker, Sam Girod, was sentenced last week to six years in federal prison for illegally selling skin salves that are readily available all over the Internet from other makers. He was also hit with three years of probation and a requirement that he repay his “victims” about $14,000.

Now, I guess the fact that Girod got only about one-eighth of the potential maximum sentence he could have received might be viewed as good news. But that’s not the way most of his supporters have taken it, in reactions posted here and on Facebook. They are upset that he received significant prison time, and they have good reason to be upset: He has no criminal record, and no documentation of harm to any individual was provided.

I find the whole thing upsetting as well, but for a different reason. Sure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration behaved like a big bully in going after Girod, but that isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time the FDA abused its power. Beyond that given, I think Girod screwed up big time, and in the process not only got himself unnecessarily jailed, but gave the FDA a good deal more authority than it might otherwise have had over makers of healing products.

You can begin to understand the ways in which Girod screwed up by reading the insightful account provided by Kentucky activist Sally O’Boyle (better known as Sally Oh). O’Boyle has been a loyal supporter of Girod, helping publicize his unfortunate case, and generating lots of awareness.

While there were lots of things wrong with the case, beginning with the unnecessary charges against Girod and continuing through to the sentencing, the heart of the problem was summed up by the judge, as quoted by O’Boyle: “(The judge) said that Sam refused to listen to anyone but himself… and others who have been giving him advice – bad advice. The case is not about Big Pharma. He then called Sam ‘obstinate’ and accused him of ‘continuous and blatant disregard for the rule of law.’ “

“Of course, the law he was referring to is actually some rules that were written by unelected bureaucrats at the FDA that are enforced as if they were laws enacted by our elected legislators.”

I think Sally’s first paragraph is exactly correct. Her second, though, misses a key point, in my judgment. I understand the judge to be admonishing Girod for failing to exercise his rights as provided by the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution). The key right is that of “due process”—the administration of justice—promised in the Fifth Amendment (as well as the Fourteenth Amendment).

When Girod fired his lawyer well before his trial, and then tried to defend himself before a jury, he screwed up royally. The judge had many times encouraged Girod to hire a lawyer, but Girod was “obstinate.” He preferred to go with the tactics of the “sovereign citizen” advisers O’Boyle refers to. That advice was on clear display at Girod’s sentencing hearing last week, when he several times responded to the judge’s requests and questions by saying, “I do not consent.” That sovereign citizen nonsense likely increased Sam’s sentence, and cost him a chance to serve his sentence at a low-security facility in Kentucky near his family.

But even before the sentencing craziness, Girod lost his chance to possibly have beaten the rap entirely when he refused to engage a skilled lawyer for his trial. The trial turned into a farce. As one example, O’Boyle points to witnesses friendly to Girod who were forced to testify for the prosecution. She states: “Any competent cross examination would have allowed these witnesses to testify on Sam’s behalf, as they obviously wanted to do. It was clear that these people considered Sam to be their friend and they couldn’t believe the federal government was forcing them to testify against Sam.”

I’m sorry, but you can’t expect the government to be your friend when it decides to put you on trial. It’s up to you to provide your own defense, as articulated by the Constitution—by using your right to a trial by jury and due process. If you care about yourself and your family, you get the best defense money can buy. In Girod’s case, he could have gone to the foodie community and raised tens of thousands of dollars to pay for his defense. It wouldn’t have cost him anything.

And if he had won, which was a distinct possibility given the flimsiness of the government’s case, then the FDA would have been set on its heels. It would have thought long and hard before going after another producer of natural healing products.

All you have to do is look at the case of Wisconsin raw dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger three years ago. Hershberger was inclined  to go the “sovereign citizen” route, until just before his jury trial, when he finally decided to take the advice offered by many supporters, to get real legal help. With assistance from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, he engaged a top trial lawyer, and beat the pants off the Wisconsin regulators. They have since steered clear of going after farmers like Hershberger.

I feel badly for Girod. But I don’t feel much sympathy. Yes, he got a bad deal, but it could have turned out much differently if he had simply taken advantage of all the opportunities conferred by our Constitution. Now, he can spend his days telling his prison guards for the next six years, “I do not consent.”

106 comments to Why Sam Girod’s Martyrdom Does Us All a Disservice

  • You are 100% correct. Sam had the opportunity to beat up the FDA and stop them from harming other Amish. He has thus far refused.

  • He was not the first to lose big time using the Sovereign Citizen defense. James Stewart lost big time taking the same advice. Let this be official notice that the idea of Sovereign Citizen defense is a farce and very dangerous. In fact….it lands you in jail.

    The court system is a strategic place and you need a good team of smart legal defenders to make your point and prevail. When the FDA takes you to court, they take a great risk if you have a great team. If you don’t have a team….they win. When you have a great team, a new precedent could be realized. That is a huge risk for the FDA. When the FDA took me to court, FTCLDF Gary Cox literally kicked their asses. The judge admonished the FDA and dressed them down. The fda was speaking a $250,000 fine and jail time. They got nothing….and probably worse than nothing. They got a cold slap in the face. Less than 2 years later official FDA policy changed and soccer moms could take raw milk home over state lines. Dairymen still are supposed to get into trouble….but that seems to have changed as well. Amos Miller is still shipping tons of raw milk all over America and the FDA does not seem to care. I know that CDFA does not seem to care at all.

    Yes…being passive is permission for the FDA to make you into an example and send you away. An outrageous result of ignorance and not using a team that is smart.

    You don’t go to war unless you are well armed with have a brilliant strategy. If you don’t …I call that stupid or suicidal.

  • Clearly, the fda only picks on the weak. http://www.myhealthyfoodclub.com/assets/images/Docs/farm-food-price-list.pdf

    Amos sells Raw Milk all over America. The fda would not dare take him on because of a fear of losing and setting a new precedent.

    • lis

      FDA/USDA/FBI/STATE of XYZ (fiction) ONLY ONLY ONLY have jurisdiction over other fictions. Know who you are….if not, they’ll presume that you’re a fiction under their jurisdiction.

  • don

    Its ALL SAMS FAULT REALLY??? BLAME THE VICTUM HUH. All Sam had do was to pay thousands of FRNs to a BAR member to get himself free of the persecuting BAR member that wanted him bankrupt and in a dungeon for the rest of his life and then the Black Robed Judge also BAR member would pronounce him not guilty??? REALLY? 100,000 FRNs didn’t help our friend MS in Canada!! Is there any OUTRAGE from any BAR member or is this just a normal part of the LEGAL BUSINESS? The saying Liberty and Justice seems meaningless this July 4

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      Yes don, the black robes and their underlings, in particular those with a bloated ego and a poor sense of justice, have us coming and going. They lead a form of legalistic inquisition if you will where they win irrespective of the outcome. It’s an age-old story. Mark stated, “the FDA only picks on the weak”, which is often the case and a reflection of their self-serving predatory nature.

      • don

        Ken perhaps in present reality THEY have a RICH$ sense of justice. It was reported a few years ago that the US has 50% of the worlds dungeon population and 50% of the worlds BAR members but only about 23% of the worlds population!!! Therefore we are more criminal than all other nations or is there some underlying other reason? There was ancient Roman saying “The nation that has the most laws is the nation that is the most corrupt” Is that not our reality today. One needs permission from the king {license, letter of marque, permit etc.] to cut some ones hair, teenagers in town in Fla need $110 permit to mow grass little girls cant sell lemonade and the list is shamefully endless!!! And if the kings lions attack us we must hire another lion from the same PRIDE to keep us from being eaten alive? But of course we have The Constitution to protect us all never mind the UCC The Codes The Rules The Regulations and whatever else they may be termed. In present reality are we not all just regulatory and monetary slaves but thinking we are free? Someone once said “You shall know them by their fruits”

      • lis

        Weak are the fictions who have no rights. Be man! We’ve been lied to since birth. It’s time to wake up!

        Some history and possible remedies: http://annavonreitz.com/

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Don, I think I allowed that FDA abused its power in singling out Sam Girod. No, I wasn’t blaming the victim, I was chiding him for failing to fight harder, to use the important rights provided him under our Constitution, gained only after a bloody war of revolution.

      • lis

        David, you can’t fight harder when you’re under the jurisdiction of the fiction because you only have the APPEARANCE of rights in their domain. In order for justice to have a chance, you MUST stay out of the BAR jurisdiction by invoking your common law court of record where ONLY people interact, not fictions like FDA/USDA/BAR/STATE of XYZ and definitely no crossdressers in black.

        • Don

          And Lis did it not all start when our mothers were hoodwinked deceived into giving us up to the STATE thru the BIRTH CERTIFICATES and when we get married and get a MARRIAGE LICENSE the STATE becomes the LEGAL head of the family and all the family produces. NONESENSE OR PRESENT REALITY? I wish it weren’t so!!!

  • Shana Milkie

    Yes, this is horrible all around. It was a case that never should have been charged or gone to trial. But since it did, I join everyone else who heartily wishes that Sam Girod had engaged a lawyer. I fervently hope that he is able to appeal and that the appeal is successful.

    It is heartbreaking that he is spending any time in jail. I wish him and his family the best.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Shana, the judge already ordered an appeal to be filed (as noted in Sally Oh’s account). Of course, the fact that it will be pro forma, and not argued based on legal theory and precedents, nearly guarantees that it will be rejected.

      • lis

        Appeals are part of the same game….more wasted time/energy/effort. Get out of THEIR fictional statutory/maritime/ jurisdiction. Invoke common law court of record and stay OUT of the fictional jurisdiction.

    • lis

      Look up attorney, infant, incompetent, duty to court, not client and you’ll never want to engage a liaryer ever again.

  • Gordon S Watson

    Don … yes, It is that bad : “the whole world lies in the power of the Adversary”. Or, as Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan put it, after he ‘got the memo’ = “you’ve got to serve some body”.

    Since you mentioned Michael Schmidt : in the very first round in Ontario, before Justice of the Peace Kuworski, one of MS’s associates stood beside him at the counsel table, and started in with the “Sovereign Citizen / those laws don’t apply to me” thing. The JP scorched him. Michael Schmidt didn’t get all tangled-up in that non-sense. Regardless whether there’s some validity to that school of thought, it absolutely will not be allowed on the playgrounds of the Cult of the Black Robe.

    as unpallatable as it is to hear, at this stage of the “proceedings”, Sam Girod is fortunate he’s not being treated like LeRoy Schweitzer and the Montana Freeman. ‘Cause that’s the category he put his-self in, as far as the Powers-that-Be, are concerned.

    • John Dutcher

      Well Gordon, I have to agree with most all you said in your comment.

    • lis

      If you want a chance at justice, stay OUT of the BAR sandbox. We are guilty of ignorance. The remedy is there for people in common law, yet we remain ignorant and consent to be under the BAR jurisdiction.

      Start educating yourselves and organize your local jural assemblies. There’s already a template: stmichiganassembly.info/

  • Part of mental health is staying in reality. Cult of the Black Robe, Sovereign Citizen, and other Alice in Wonderland BS, is not grounded in the present reality. If you intend to thrive and survive, it is essential to know and be smart about current reality and not some strange old world imaginary place that ignores the current law and the true legal and political forces in play. Check your imaginary BS at the door and enter reality with sobriety.

    • Gordon S Watson

      thanks for the comic relief of the day! Mr McAffee, vis = your advice that “part of mental health is staying in reality …If you intend to thrive and survive, it is essential to know and be smart about current reality and not some strange old world imaginary place ….” That imaginary place in your mind, and heart ( since you go on so much of your heart) … is where the Wicked Witch Hilary dwells lately … in fantasyland spun by their media minions, with PRESIDENT Trump pilloried every night on the news for the “10 minute hate” [ confer with the book 1984 ]

      see if you can wrap your mind around the FACT that Donald Trump prevailed in the US election of 2016, which makes him PRESIDENT Trump, now … at least, in the objective reality shared by the rest of us! Sure, The Donald’s style is straight out of the World Wrestling Federation playbook. So what? you’re stuck with him = People get the kind of government they deserve

    • bob

      Couldn’t agree more, Mark. You have to work within the rules that are set in place where you are. I just don’t understand the FDA’s fervor to attack those who have caused no harm when they should be occupied with the people dropping dead from the vast array of prescription drugs that they approved. I guess it’s all about protecting the money interests that back them. I am glad for your positive outcome.

      • lis

        The corporate system is all about profits, not fairness and not certainly not justice. Why comply with “the rules that are set in place” when they are not intended for people??? They are intended to gain profit for the fictional corporate system and if you choose to play in that system, know that you are no more than chattel.


        • Gordon S Watson

          you ask … “Why comply with “the rules that are set in place” when they are not intended for people???” Answer : because those who enforce those rules, carry guns. And those guns are loaded. All that blather about Sovereign Citizen / Natural Person et cetera, is worse than useless when push comes to shove. As old George Gordon used to say “you can avoid a lot more trouble than you can get yourself out of”

          • lis

            “because those who enforce those rules, carry guns” How’s that different from the mafia? Is your solution to just keep our heads down and live in fear? Has it gotten to that point for us slaves? Or is it our own enslaved mind that keep us in fear?

            Perhaps be open to another reality if you don’t like the current one? It’s protected by the VII amendment, which is the rule book for public servants.

            Who said anything about sovereign citizens and natural persons? They are both fictions and oxymorons. Why repeat the lie?

  • Karen

    Mark Mcafee, Amos Miller is under investigation by the Dept of Agriculture. I was at the first court hearing last summer (2016). Amos did not have a lawyer at that hearing. As far as I am aware, he has not hired legal counsel. Amos continues to resist the authorities and their requests for information. However the Dept. of Ag. did inspect the farm, and requested and received copies of all invoices (customer names redacted supposedly). Amos, his family and employees know about Sam Girod, but as far as I know they are getting the information verbally. Unless Amos changes his stand and gets an excellent legal team, I fear Amos and his family will be in a similar situation as Sam, and a lot of people will be without quality food.
    Here is one article from David:
    I did not see anything more recent.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Karen, I did have a more recent report on the Amos Miller case (together with an analysis of the Sam Girod case). In it, I pointed out that Amos had both represented himself, and availed himself of legal help through the Real Food Consumer Coalition. You may want to review that post. http://www.davidgumpert.com/lets-get-amish-producers-legal-business

      As I indicated in that post, Amos has had a similar struggle as Sam over accepting real legal input. However, Amos seems to have come to understand the serious limitations of the “sovereign citizen” approach. We’ll have to wait and see how the Dept of Agriculture investigation shakes out.

      • lis

        Amos and his family, community need to learn common law pronto. We all do because you’ll never know when they’ll come for you next.

        • David Gumpert David Gumpert

          It’s interesting that you and any number of other would-be legal advisers are so full of shoulda’s and woulda’s for how Sam could have represented himself, but when your tactics fail miserably, Sam is all alone to serve his sentence and pay his fines….as are all the other defendants who fall for your tactics.

          • lis

            You are claiming that the common law tactics failed based on what, David? It’s not MY tactics, David. It’s the 7th amendment, look it up. What are YOUR tactics to help Sam, David? It’s easier to just blame the victim for holding his ground and causing us all a “disservice” because he didn’t want to lie and play the corrupt game of BAR dependency. Just pay the piper and it’ll be over….until the next time.

            BTW, the reason i need to repeat myself is because you are still calling me “LEGAL” adviser after i keep saying to stay OUT of the LEGAL jurisdiction meant for fictions/slaves. Problem is that you don’t understand the difference between legal an lawful.

            BTW, i did post my offer here to help Sam with his common law court filings months ago, not knowing how to contact him and his family. The only one i was able to get in touch with was Sally, who said she was not feeling well or something and dropped the ball.

          • Gordon S Watson

            Mister Lis. I came in on the DeTax thing, in early 1998. in which all those same noises you’re making on this forum, were merchandised by Patriots for Profit. There were some noble contenders, as well. But they retired gracefully after educating some! of us, as to how this government REALLY works. Helping about 20 self-reps through provincial and Supreme Courts, I had a ringside seat, watching how the scam was perpetrated. In a nutshell ; it’s a psyop, run by govt. agents, so as to valve-off valid rage at the income tax monstrosity. A handy for-instance ; poster-boy for Freemen on the Land, Robert Menard

            if you really are dedicated to “Truth” you will do your homework. Start with The judiciary in Her Majesty’s Courts all across the Dominion, had reached the limit of their patience with so-called “Freemen on the Land / Sovereign Citizens / Natural Persons and the rest of that crapola. In that case, the judge took 175 pages of Reasons, absolutely putting the boots to the Organized Pseudo Legal Arguments you’re spouting. One of the major practioners = Big Daddy Russel A Porisky = now sits in a federal penitentiary, after taking in a few million$ with the Natural Person School of Prophetic Tax Law Interpretation. His protege, Michael Millar, is there with him for not quite as long a stretch.

            your arcane notions have been debunked, time and again in the US of A. To the extent that they have a special category of penalty for anyone who so much as raises them. Same in Canada, after the John Dempsey cases in BC. That stuff you’re advancing is a waste of everyone’s time.

            for comic relief, see the Quatloos website … a museum of such scams

  • Zak Hunter

    Mr. Mcafee and Mr. Gumpert,

    Thank you David for writing such an insightful and realistic article. You go where most people are afraid to venture. Mark, I think you make very valid points and I hope those who read this blog post and comments take it to heart and share with any of their Amish friends that may also set potentially damaging precedent in the real food movement, based on SC and Freemen strategy.

    On another note, being July 4th and a significant US holiday, I would like to revise accidental attempts at revising true history. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    1. Regarding Soccer Moms — From what I have read in the news, social media and blogs/comments (real food movement friendly) it appears that Gary Cox had absolutely nothing to do with the FDA’s public statement regarding not going after “soccer moms.” Mark, I would think that you should know this because I have seen that you were very supportive of the Women that prompted the FDA’s statement.

    From what I have gleaned, Liz Reitzig started the effort that became the Raw Milk Freedom Riders. Gary Cox and FTCLD attacked her and tried to sabotage this incredibly “brilliant” strategy and extremely successful event. Cox/FTCLD wanted to take (again) credit for Women’s hard work. In-fact, Liz had sought out her own legal advisors to be on-site that momentous day. It seems FTCLDF was afraid to show up, wanted credit for everything and sabotaged along the way… A Woman based orginazation (Farm Food Freedom Coalition – F3C), of which Liz continues to co-direct, was the umbrella entity that prompted the FDA’s quick denouncement of attacking ALL Moms, not just “soccer moms.” The following is what I believe to be the crux of the truth regarding the Freedom Riders bold and heroic stand against the FDA:

    On November 1, 2011 Liz and and several Mothers transported fresh milk from Pennsylvania across state lines into Maryland. The caravan of Moms then joined the rally in front of the FDA headquarters in Silver Spring Maryland and brazenly distributed and drank raw milk and ate cookies.  Immediately, same day I believe, the FDA released a statement as follows, ”The FDA has never taken, nor does it intend to take, enforcement action against an individual who purchased and transported raw milk across state lines solely for his or her own personal consumption.”

    I do not believe Cox/FTCLD contributed anything except pain and confusion.

    2. Regarding the Hershberger case — When it comes to Vernon and Vernon’s case, I uncovered years of Liz going to and reporting on his hearings, organizing his community to show up, and planning actions and rallies for every court appearance whether or not she could attend. Vernon had his children make sure to videograph each appearance and, finally, Vernon himself was willing to take on all the risk and all the responsibility if this failed. It was only at the last minute that FTCLDF contributed some funds to the attorney that Vernon chose. The money was there all along but not offered until the last minute and, it was ultimately the community who came up with the funds which were just funneled through an inefficient bureaucracy that all too greedily took the credit for many other people’s hard work and significant risks.

    If I have perused what I consider to be the facts correctly, to say, or even imply, that FTCLDF or Gary Cox was responsible for either the Vernon Hershberger victory or the Raw Milk Freedom Riders victory, is worse than disingenuous–it is malicious to the people (especially Women) who put the blood, sweat and tears into those successes, and have yet to receive any recognition or compensation for their efforts.

    Real Food for thought… Maybe we should get behind the un-sung heroes and support their causes (they are ours) as they have supported others. I firmly believe that it is the Raw Milk Mamas that will ultimately take us to victory. It is time to support those who have so selflessly and tirelessy supported the men 😉

    In closing, I absolutely recognize both of you, Mark and David, as leaders and heroes in our real food movement! I just feel that history needs to be correctly portrayed and credit-due given where it belongs. Keep up the great work guys, we could be getting very close to a breakthrough…

    • Elizabeth Rich

      My opinion is that those of us who support the food freedom movement can appreciate each other and work together to achieve our shared goals. One of the government’s favorite strategies for silencing dissenters is “divide and conquer.” I’m sure those folks are rubbing their hands in glee when they see us attacking each other. As for the facts: FTCLDF promoted the DC event in 2012 without attempting to take credit for it or otherwise causing any problems that I am aware of. https://www.farmtoconsumer.org/blog/2012/08/17/be-prepared-to-be-snared/ As for the Hershberger case, I was very much involved. Vernon’s farm was raided in June, 2010. Charges were filed in January 2012. There were many hearings before the trial began in May of 2013. I appeared at every hearing, at first in the audience. Vernon called me from the audience to enter limited appearances at the counsel table when he needed help. Later, as we got to know each other, he engaged me as his attorney, through FTCLDF, in August 2012. I appeared at numerous hearings, drafted and responded to countless motions, met with prosecutors, reviewed over 8,000 pages of evidence submitted by the prosecution, conducted legal research, and prepared several legal briefs. I appeared at the first and second pretrial conferences/hearings, assisted by Attorney Amy Salberg who donated her time. When I decided that I needed to bring a criminal attorney into the case, I approached and retained Madison criminal defense attorney Glenn Reynolds. Vernon did not know Glenn before I introduced him. Glenn took the lead during the week-long trial, but I (in my role as FTCLDF attorney) put many hundreds of hours into the case before the trial. FTCLDF paid for all of the defense costs. It is not accurate to state that this effort, which officially began in August 2012 and went through not only the May 2013 trial, but also the appeal (handled by FTCLDF) “was ‘last-minute’ assistance. It is true that many people–hundreds–supported Vernon and put a lot of time into the case. Liz Reitzig is among them, as are many, many Wisconsin folks who knocked on almost every door in the County, educating people about the trial and distributing informational leaflets. This groundswell of support was truly inspiring. If any one person deserves credit for that support, my opinion is that person is Vernon Hershberger. His humility, dedication, kindness and generosity made him loved and respected by the members of his buying club and generated the loyalty we witnessed during the trial.

      • Elizabeth Rich

        To add a further clarification: When I appeared in the audience at Vernon’s hearings and assisted him as requested, I did so on my own time in my capacity as a private practitioner. FTCLDF cannot provide legal assistance to members until they ask us to do so. When our assistance was requested, we immediately provided it.

      • David Gumpert David Gumpert

        Elizabeth, I’d like to offer yet another clarification. (By the way, I don’t think any of this discussion, by you, Zak, or me, is meant to be divisive.) My main point in bringing up the Hershberger case in my post was that Vernon represented himself during much of his legal fight, based on the Amish mindset regarding hiring lawyers. (Vernon was raised Amish, but had left the Amish community several years before his legal troubles in Wisconsin began.)

        So, I’ll add some info to your statement: “As for the Hershberger case, I was very much involved. Vernon’s farm was raided in June, 2010. Charges were filed in January 2012. There were many hearings before the trial began in May of 2013. I appeared at every hearing, at first in the audience. Vernon called me from the audience to enter limited appearances at the counsel table when he needed help. Later, as we got to know each other, he engaged me as his attorney, through FTCLDF, in August 2012.”

        In the eight months between January and August 2012, Vernon acted as his own lawyer. Yes, Vernon may have turned to you for help a few times, but as far as the court was concerned, he was representing himself. I was at several of his hearings where the judge repeatedly admonished him, practically pleaded with him, to get legal representation. During that spring and summer, I had several conversations with Vernon during which I made the same plea. I told him he had done a great job representing himself up against highly skilled government lawyers, but that once he moved into the trial phase of the case, things were going to get much more complicated, move much more quickly. The jury trial itself was way beyond his capabilities, I explained. He told me that he had interviewed several lawyers, and didn’t care for any of them, mostly because they seemed too aggressive or too slippery or too eager to play ball with the state’s lawyers. It was clear he had the same mistrust for lawyers that Edwin Shank describes in his commentary about Sam Girod (which I quoted from in an earlier comment). When Vernon told me in late summer that he had decided to engage you, I practically hugged him. I told him he had made a very wise decision, and that you and others at FTCLDF would make sure he had the right representation at the trial itself. That all worked out exactly as anticipated: Glenn Reynolds was a positively brilliant trial attorney who was able to fully exploit the expert support from you, Amy Salberg, and Ajna Sharma-Wilson.

        My point is that if Vernon hadn’t given up on his fantasy of self representation, he’d very likely have wound up in the same place Sam Girod is now.

  • Zak,

    Please excuse my over broad recitation of events. Yes,….the credit goes to Liz and her raw milk resistance group. I was at the FDA raw milk demonstration and give the credit to Liz an her group. I apologize if anything I said indicated otherwise. You are right….soccer moms and all moms dads and all others are free to buy raw milk in one state and take it home to another state.

    I also give great credit to FTCLDF for the work they did for opdc and me. It was incredibly powerful to completely reduce the fda to a miserable triad of pathetic miserable snivling lawyers.

  • Don


    • lis

      Knowledge is the remedy. Youtube Karl Lentz. I’m a witness that his simple method works. Do your research. Can’t upload any proof or templates, but here’s the jist:

      To access your common law court of records for the people
      1- immediately after getting a complaint (ticket/summons/etc…)stay in honor and give notice that you’ll pay any debt from a wo/man with a verified claim that you do wrong within x days. Do not wait until the last minute.
      2- if no claim from wo/man after x days, you file a claim against the wo/man who brought false charges/comlaints against you
      3- Never ever use legalese, their creation, which lands you deep in their jurisdiction (regardless if federal, state, county = statutory). Many believe they’re doing CL, but they don’t understand procedure and they use legalese; thus, landing them in the statutory jurisdiction. You are sui juris, NOT pro se (legalese: motion, plaintiff, defendant, dismiss, etc…)
      In a nutshell, CL is common sense: 1-there MUST be a living, breathing wo/man (NOT fiction like State of xyz, USA, FDA…) with a verified (sworn under oath) CLAIM that you harmed/injured/caused loss….for there to be a crime. This is the ONLY, ONLY, ONLY issue. Do not get side tracked, as they will try to derail you. When you get a complaint/charges (statutory, inferior), your first action is to immediately give notice to the wo/man who’s bringing it against you. Most likely, it’s the prosecutor, i.e. Thomas. Ask Thomas if you have harmed him somehow and if you have, you’d be happy to restore him when you get a verified claim of his injuries/loss within x days. If not, you require this case be immediately discharged in its entirety. Most likely, there won’t be one. After x (21) days and when no action taken by Thomas, you then file a ‘claim for trespass’ as he has now done you harm and you have evidence. Your claim MUST NOT have any legalese in it. It is short and concise because you must be able to defend every word, as a man (not a fictional person). Do NOT overanalyze this or you will end up in their jurisdiction.
      -If you have a lawyer, you must fire your lawyer in writing. Everything MUST be in writing, filed into court, 3 copies, date stamped, you keep 1; 1 file into court; 1 to opposing party (prosecutor?). Give notice to Thomas and also file notice into court. Wait x days you’ve given Thomas to rebut, then file claim as Thomas will most likely not rebut.
      -Do NOT talk in court. Everything is in writing (CL= court of record). Always refer back to your claim “do you have any questions re my claim?” “Is there a wo/man claiming I do wrong?” Repeat if need be, but do NOT start answering them nor use any legalese. You are a man and do not understand legalese. You do not have a legal name. They will try to distract and pull you into their statutory jurisdiction, where you have no rights. Beware. They can only hear fiction; thus, turned people into fictional persons. We can only interact with wo/man; thus, never answer a fiction. If you need to say something to someone, always preface with “man to man…..”.
      -Never, ever sign any of their documents, even release papers….if threatened, signed with “VOID, under threat, all rights reserved.”
      Supreme Court of the United States, 1795:
      “In as much as every government is an artificial person, an abstraction, and a creature of the mind only, a government can interface only with other artificial persons. The imaginary, having neither actuality nor substance, is foreclosed from creating and attaining parity with the tangible. The legal manifestation of this is that no government, as well as any law, agency, aspect, court, etc. can concern itself with anything other than corporate, artificial persons and the contracts between them.”
      S.C.R. 1795, (3 U.S. 54; 1 L.Ed. 57; 3 Dall. 54)

      You may need to rescind all previous filings if they are in the statutory jurisdiction. hand write everything if can. Do NOT use any legalese! Youtube Karl Lentz, common law, claim.

      • John Dutcher

        Lis, Listen to Gordon Watson and give up on this crapola that does not work, will never work in our courts, and puts folks in the jailhouse!!!!!

      • Thank you Lis!
        Items 1., 2. and 3, are excellent!

        The government educates it’s citizens into believing that the “Constitution” gives them “rights”. The true Rights are the “Unalienable” ones (just like it says in the first Organic Law (Declaration of Independence) that threw off external “government”!

        Besides, the Constitution of September 17, 1787 was never adopted by the members of Congress or the “president” by way of a written oath to “support this Constitution”. Unadopted, the document can only “rise” to the level of a corporate agreement among the corporate state members as no Man or Woman is party to this and need not be if they stand their own ground.

        But who can hear this? Apparently only the “free Inhabitant” (as per second Organic Law).

        You absolutely must “Do your research.” Otherwise you are in the government’s “church of believers” singing out of their hymnal!

  • David Gumpert David Gumpert

    Here is another perspective on the Sam Girod case, from Edwin and Dawn Shank, owners of The Family Cow farm in Pennsylvania. He shared this article with readers of his farm’s newsletter:

    I’m sad as I write this, so my mood may come through a bit. Sorry, but I just feel a lingering heaviness of heart ever since last Friday when Dawn and I held court step vigil in Lexington KY with Sam Girod’s family.

    I have read a lot of commentary on the case and most writers are sympathetic as they try to understand Sam. But as a fellow plain person, I feel that an important detail is missed by non-plain folks trying to understand. Our family is Mennonite not Amish, so even we may not understand the Amish mind totally. But we do have a lot of similarities in how we face life and see issues in life. And I do work with and know the Amish community very well… so at least hear me out. 🙂

    What follows is my best understanding of the clash of values that lies at the root of Sam Girod’s tragic tangle with the Government. As background for my opinion, I’ve talked with Sam’s sons and his close friends over the last six months. On Friday, Dawn and I got to meet and speak with his wife Elizabeth and their four daughters too. After the sentencing we were invited to sit in on the tearful family discussion circle back at the farm. These discussions with Sam’s family and Amish friends and neighbors verified my plain person’s intuition of what was going on in the minds of Sam and his family that led to this.

    All Sam wanted is to tell the TRUTH.
    Sam is a simple, no-nonsense, black and white, straight-forward Amish thinker. Stuff is either right or it is wrong. No middle ground. In his straightforward way of thinking it would be a lie to print the FDA required disclaimer on his labels: You know, the one that says, “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” The truth of the matter is, his salves were intended to treat skin ailments and disease. Of course they were! That’s 100% why he selected those particular herbs for his salve.

    So Sam refused to print a lie for a disclaimer on his salve.
    And in turn, the FDA declared his salves drugs. Unbelievable to Sam and indeed to most of us, the FDA officially stands firmly on their statement that “any product that treats, cures, prevent disease” are drugs. So since Sam’s ‘drugs’ were NOT approved by the FDA… presto! …they are illegal drugs.

    The missing disclaimer is what allowed the FDA to charge him as an illegal drug dealer. And since he was also making the drugs he’s charged #2 as an illegal drug producer and since some of these illegal drugs are sold out of state he’s charged #3 as an interstate illegal drug dealer. All of these charges are federal crimes against the United States of America because the FDA is a federal agency. As you know, the case ridiculously escalated from there until the Government had 13 Federal crimes stacked against him and 68 years in prison hanging over his head. All of these false charges hanging over a peaceful, simple, Amish farmer, father of 12 and grandfather to 28 who has no prior criminal record whatsoever and who had never harmed anyone! All he wanted was to tell the truth.

    Sam did hire a lawyer at first.
    The Amish are very slow to hire lawyers. They really don’t trust them. (Imagine that!) They feel that, too often, all a lawyer wants is your money and often will push you to do something shady or wrong in violation of their Christian moral principles. So when, true to form, Sam’s lawyer tried repeatedly to persuade him to “just plead guilty”…even though the lawyer knew Sam was not guilty and Sam knew he was not guilty, Sam told the lawyer to go home. He was not going to violate the TRUTH by “pleading guilty” even if, as his lawyer said, it would be his best chance at winning his LIBERTY. The lawyer was smart in the ways of the world, of course. He thought that the best way he could help was to free Sam no matter what. What he did not realize is that Sam’s code of life is “TRUTH no matter what,” not “LIBERTY no matter what.”

    Sam decided to represent himself at his trial with TRUTH as his only defense. In his common sense thinking, if he’d tell the truth and nothing but the truth… he’d be exonerated. Why should he need a lawyer and a lawyer’s slippery weasel words to win him his freedom? So at his trial Sam did tell the truth and nothing but the truth. His trial defense could be summarized almost entirely like this: “The herbs in my salves are not drugs, I am not a drug dealer or drug maker and my salves have not hurt anyone.”

    And he was cut to shreds by truth-twisting Federal prosecuting attorneys, a totally non-Amish jury that could not understand where he was coming from and a haughty judge that openly despised his simple TRUTH tactic.

    Was this foolish? Yes, in the eyes of those wise in the ways of the world and the world’s court system, it was foolish. To Sam though, it made a lot of common sense. His downfall was that he actually had a little faith in Justice in America. He had faith that the justice system in America was at least a little committed to TRUTH. As near as I can tell, I think he and all his friends and family have lost that little faith now.

    Sam’s simple moral stand on “Truth No Matter What” is misunderstood as stubborn and obstinate. The Federal judge actually called him obstinate to his face at the sentencing on Friday. Right up to a few hours before the sentencing, the Federal prosecutors were trying to get Sam to sign a plea deal which may have allowed him to go home that day. But always connected to the plea deal was the bargain that he’d have to plead guilty. And Sam was having none of it. Sam absolutely refused to sign his name to even a white lie, or “normal court technicality” as some would call it, to obtain his freedom. He was willing to lose liberty to keep TRUTH. He was not about to sell his soul to the Father of Lies.

    Understandably, this is a pretty hard concept for a lawyer or most government officials to grasp. In fact it’s even hard for most Americans to grasp. To most Americans (especially over July 4th weekend) the highest pinnacle of being an American is Patrick Henry’s revolutionary battle cry of “Give me Liberty or Give me Death!”

    Sam’s cry of “Truth no Matter What” just sounds like something from another world… from another Kingdom.

    And maybe it is… just maybe it is.


    NOTE: This above explanation is not a full defense of all that Sam has done or all of the decisions that he has made. He is human and so is his family. There are definitely mistakes that he has made. I’m sure he would say so too. But none of them are anywhere close to mistakes that should put a man in federal prison for 6 years. For example, I’m pretty sure Sam wishes that he would have just stopped making salve altogether years ago. That is something that he could have done. He was under no moral compulsion to be a salve maker.

    He might even wish he’d have hired a different lawyer rather than trying to explain his own case in court with no lawyer. He could have hired a more understanding lawyer that could truly represent him including his “Truth No Matter What” convictions. If he would have done so, I feel the FDA would have been forced to retreat… Their case against Sam was flimsy and full of holes.

    I do feel strongly that Sam must absolutely distance himself from those who recently have begun taking advantage of his lack of knowledge and are advising him to use the “Sovereign Citizen” argument. If Sam naively follows that siren call… it will be an even bigger disaster and put him and his family in entirely the wrong camp. This was neither Sam’s original position nor his position at his trial. He must not get dragged into that now or he’ll lose all credibility.

    Let’s keep praying for this poor man and his family… That they would all make wise, God-honoring decisions that they will never regret in the days that are ahead.

    Also remember that, by God’s word, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God…” Romans 8:28

    God may have a special reason for Sam in prison that is completely beyond our knowledge. In fact, God has already used Sam to help another inmate who came to him and asked how he could find Jesus. Dawn and I shared some happy tears with the family Friday afternoon at the farm. Elizabeth and the girls especially were touched that God was using their father this way.

    God is good all of the time! All of the time God is good. He’s in control. Never be afraid.

    Blessings and Prayers,

    Your farmers – Edwin and Dawn Shank

    • John Dutcher

      David, Thank You, again.
      Edwin, Thank you for your take on this.

    • lis

      I have great admiration for those who stand on principle, against all odds. I also have great admiration for those who refuse to be beaten by the corrupt system and continue to research for true remedy. I believe Karl Lentz is one of these people as he has spent a lot of time and effort in trying to educate people.

      Sam is not a common PERSON (fiction-same as defendant, same as MR. Girod, etc…). He is a common MAN. Words do matter. In law (dejure), unless there is a wo/man with a verified (sworn under oath) that Sam did harm, there is NO crime. Period. The problem is that Sam did not rebut that he’s not a fiction (defendant) and did not file a common law (common sense for the common man) claim for trespass because now, he had been harmed by the man (sometimes acting as prosecutor). Unlike the FDA/USDA/FED/FICTIONS who have no one swearing that Sam did harm, the man Sam can certainly put his hand on the bible and swear that he had been harmed and he could prove it. By filing his claim for trespass, there is now a bonafide man (victim) who can now move his court of record (common law) where no codes/statutes/regulations exists and no BAR fictions have any power. It’s a simple process.

      It’s not too late for Sam, but everyone involved needs to understand that he needs to stay OUT of the fictional realm at all cost and invoke his own jurisdiction in common law. His community need to form local jural assemblies if they wish to help Sam:


      Isn’t time we all stand for the truth instead of cowering like cowards? You never know if you’re next on the chopping block. I’m not religious, but who was it that said something like ‘my people perish for lack of knowledge’?

      • David Gumpert David Gumpert

        Lis, please stop posting of excessive and repetitious commentary.

        • Blesse'd are the cheese makers

          Thank you, Mr. G., for calling for a “cease fire” on Lis’s infomercial posts.

          The “sovereign citizen” argument might be seductive to some, but in practice it is similar to Glenda the Good Witch’s advice to click your heels three times and repeat, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

          Not a practical way to handle your legal affairs under our current social compact, like it or not.

          • lis

            Informercial? Wasn’t aware i was selling truth, something abhorent for some? Who said anything about sovereign citizens? You can choose to be enslaved under the legal fictional jurisdiction if you’d like, but why attack those who choose the law? Why do you feel so threatened by truth?

          • John Dutcher

            I agree cheesemaker, too many people in jail already following the Sovereign man,strawman, etc. argument, does not hold water in a court of law, period!!

          • Blesse'd are the cheese makers

            Lis, you are the one who has been advancing the “sovereign citizen” concept, not me. I am not threated at all by the truth. The truth will set you free, right.

            What you propose (the “common man” argument) would only work if those at the halls of justice agreed with you. They don’t. You might as well go up there with bones to rattle and incantations and incense to try to drive the “demons” out of the temple.

            We live under a social compact. I agree with you in concept — it is a “fiction” from the standpoint that precedent has been established and we blindly follow it as it has developed over the centuries. As noted in our own Declaration of Independence, “. . .Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms (of government) to which they are accustomed.”

            With that said, I suggest you study the doctrine of the lesser magistrates. It is, in form, the concept of nullification as some one else has alluded to on this post. The principle of this doctrine is when the state commands that which God forbids or forbids that which God commands, men have a duty to obey God rather than man. It is really an extension of “Natural Law” which posits that our rights come from God, not government. So, if the government issues an unlawful decree, men (meaning men and women) have a duty to nullify that decree. The one who is in the best position to initiate this action is a lower magistrate, a person to “stand in the gap” so to speak. The other way to accomplish this is by an act of civil disobedience.

            However, the only practical way for the exercise of this doctrine to be successful is for enough of us “common folk” to support a lesser magistrate when the lesser magistrate does “stand in the gap.” Same goes for an act of civil disobedience. If a person performs an act of civil disobedience in protest to an unconstitutional law and enough of us “common folk” out here stand behind that person, the government will have not choice but to back off. However, they usually come back if you do not convert this act of civil disobedience into legislatively striking the objectionable law. As Thomas Aquinus noted, “An unjust law is no law at all.”

            Lots of folks are either in jail or with huge fines on their doorstep who try the “sovereign citizen” “common man” approach. And this should not be taken that I condone what goes on today with unelected bureaucrats (like the FDA) creating arbitrary laws on the fly.

            This is going to take a spiritual awakening within the masses and take much action in the trenches to effectuate the change we need. Of course, a total financial collapse my bring on the change itself, but it would not be pretty.

          • lis

            Once again, where did i say anything about sovereign citizen? What is that? What is a “lesser magistrate”? There is no gap. Either you’re under the jurisdiction of fictions (statutory law) or you’re in the jurisdiciton of man (common law) Just be man or woman and have ALL rights unless we do harm. WHO did Sam harm? Will that man or woman swear upon the bible that his/her claim is true and be able to prove it?

            VII amendment….look it up and stop talking nonsense about sovereign citizens and making false accusations.

        • lis

          Why are some of my posts still “awaiting moderation”, David? I’m trying to post templates and info. for people to see what WAS done successfully in court, yet they are still “awaiting moderation”?

          • David Gumpert David Gumpert

            Your comments aren’t going to be posted because they are terribly lengthy and repetitious of other comments you’ve posted. As Cheesemaker noted, they amount to “infomercials”–you talk about not “paying the piper,” but defendants who use the services of common law advisers (or whatever you call them) pay big fees. For the privilege of losing in court. I’m not sure what Sam Girod paid for the advice to say, “I do not consent.” But I doubt it came for free. And it allowed him to get a longer sentence than he might have otherwise, and possibly be sent further from home than he might otherwise have been. No thanks.

        • lis

          So, David is threatening to bar me from posting because i believe that information should flow freely without censorship. Why don’t you post my reply to you and your private threats to me, David?

          • David Gumpert David Gumpert

            I advised you publicly to reduce your commentary volume. When you continued, I sent you a private request, in which I said I was concerned about the volume and repetitiousness of your posts. I suggested you might want to cancel your subscription if you couldn’t abide by the rules. You have freely stated your views many times here, and there have been no threats made.

          • Blesse'd are the cheese makers

            Lis —

            “Censorship” in light of the First Amendment is a term that would only apply to the government or to a bona fide news organization. This is a private blog and Mr. Gumpert can do what he wants to do with it. Even ban you totally if he wants to.

            For one who puts herself out as such an “expert” on the “common law,” you are misguided that Mr. Gumpert owes you anything on his blog. He has shown quite a bit of restraint in my view considering the constant droning you are putting on here about the sovereign citizen movement. Ironically, you are not even aware that that is what you advocate.

            Please move on to a different topic. We all know your position on this issue.

          • John Dutcher

            Cheesemaker is right, correct,in congruance with the truth, however you want to say it!! Mr Gumpert has been more than patient with you, he actually does have the pateince of Job :>)You have repeatedly stated the same few sentences over and over, obviously, we can all read, if we WANT to read your rhetoric, PLEASE, just post a link and if we want to, we will open it, otherwise,PLEASE STOP!!
            John Dutcher

  • Gordon S Watson

    it irks me when Christians cite Romans 8:28, but give only half the verse … resulting in half-baked theology. The rest of it is “.. and are called according to His purposes” Sam Girod sits in gaol, because he clung on to a childish mis-understanding of how Ham-merica operates this century. Although a grown man – in this thin – he’s a 2-year old, paralyzed at the stage of “no”! Worshipping his own will

    Sam Girod sits in gaol ’til he realizes “God chastens those whom He loves”

  • Gordie….where is your compassion!!??? Go take a cold shower or two!!

    Thank you Edwin for your very thoughtful assessment and solid explaination of the inner workings of this Amishmans mind and code of conduct and belief. It really helped me understand.

    I think your writing here should be the lead document in the court ordered automatic appeal. Considering the violation…this entire matter should be and must be considered under the cover of religious belief. Clearly, his freedom was traded for his religious convictions and literal concept of truth.

    Us non plain people understand that this is a war of sorts. We hold our truth inside our souls knowing full well the FDA is nothing but professionsl liars. We do what we must do to nourish and love one another as the FDA and its associated industrial collaborators are no friends of ours or our bodies or our souls.

    Thank you Edwin


    • Gordon S Watson

      cold showers are more appropriate for yourself, Mark McAffee … every time you feel a fit of Trump Derangement Syndrome coming on. Obviously = your mind is so badly-blown by the reality of him having won the election, that you don’t recall last fall, vowing to remain on this website, dumping in your hyperchauvinist vitriol about PRESIDENT Trump. Same with me : every time you go offtopic re REAL MILK, and dish your vitriol, folded in with your peculiar brand of smarmy, faux concern, you’ll get it right back in spades.

      I mock the Amish-volk because of ridiculous inconsistencies in the compromises they make with the Law of the God of Israel, all the while advertising demselves as Christians. No doubt some of them are, including Sam Girod. It galls me that some people in the Campaign for REAL MILK, revere Amish-ness as though quaint costumes and customs somehow make them more authentic. OF COURSE! I do not want Sam Girod sitting in a gaol cell for trying to help people. But he has yet to learn a very important lesson in the Christian walk, re the power of the tongue. …having disdained the Biblical admonition to settle with his adversary in the way, before being hauled before the Magistrate, he’s the author of his own mis-fortune

      Since you mention “war” I remind all-concerned what Bertold Brecht said : “what if they gave a war, and no one came? Then the war would come to you”. Sam Girod’s predicament is one tiny outworking of what happens when people offload their shirk civic duty. Responsibility not take is freedom lost. Meaning = the Amish want to allow The English to run the country, and not pay taxes to the state? Then don’t come cryin’ to me when that Beast system comes round to your door, demanding its share of the income from a business using its currency

  • A bit of history was made this week. OPDC made its first export airshipment of raw dairy products to Du Bai under an Arab label. This was made with the FDAs blessing and approval from the authorities in Du Bai. It is not illegal to export raw dairy products. The FDA agrees that international export is not interstate commerce as long as the importing country agrees…..the shipment is legal.

    Interesting to note that the Du Bai food safety authorities granted a five log pathogen reduction equivalence to OPDC RAWMI RAMP plan and Test & Hold pathogen testing.

    In fact….OPDC zero pathogen test results were acknowledged to be greater than 5 logs. 5 logs is not zero….OPDC Test & Hold is zero for target pathogens. This is a first for a first world regulatory agency that I know of. It also helped to show less than 1 coliforms consustenty on lab tests. That’s what a ramp plan will do. Screening fresh cows prior to entry into the herd is the secret sauce.

    Now we fly over state lines enroute to other countries. There are only 8 states left that do not allow raw milk access in some form. Great progress has been made!

  • John Dutcher

    Bottom line:Truth means very little in our society.

    • lis

      This is why people like Sam are like gold and must be supported. He chooses not to live the lie. Good for Sam!

      • John Dutcher

        If you follow your principles, you will be in jail with a lot of other folks who have tried that route before, I personally know someone fron S.Dakota who is spending ten years in a dfederal pen for trying your form of defense, it will not work, period!!

        • lis

          I HAVE followed the principles of common law and prevailed….helped someone get a criminal drug case discharged permanently (nolle prosequi with prejudice). People say they’ve done it and it doesn’t work, yet when pressed for details, they have NO idea what they’re doing; thus, landing them under the fictional statutory jurisdiction without rights.

          This is akin to someone with illness telling me their diet is very healthy and when pressed for what they eat, they say they’re vegetarian and eat lots of soy products.

          The devil is in the details, John. Did the people (singular as well as plural) you know who tried “my form of defense” ever file a claim for trespass as the aggrieved, turning him/herself into the prosecutor in order to move his/her case in common law WITHOUT using any legalese? BTW, it’s not “my form of defense”, John, it’s the 7th amendment of the constitution. Also look up the 5th and 6th.

          • Blesse'd are the cheese makers

            Lis —

            Please cite us the style, cause number and jurisdiction of one of these “cases” in which you prevailed so we can look it up and see for ourselves. A criminal drug case would be a matter of public record, i.e., State of “X” vs. “John Doe”.

            By the way, you misinterpret Amendment VII. But what do I know . . . Quiz for you. What is the origin of the 7th Amendment? — Since you hold yourself out to be an expert on the “common” law.

          • lis

            Oh cheesy, where did i say i was an “expert” in anything? The constitution was not written for people, and does NOT give people rights. It’s public servants who swore an oath to it. How did i misinterpret Amendment VII when i never interpreted it? Isn’t in plain english. Do you know what the United States is?

            Amendment VII

            “In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.”

          • Blesse'd are the cheese makers

            What do you mean “the Constitution was not written for people . . .?” The first three words of the Preamble state, “We, the People . . . ” Are you serious?

            I agree with you that the Constitution does not give people rights. God does that part. The Constitution was intended to be the chain that binds and limits our government. In essence, the Constitution does not spell out our rights as much as it serves to spell out the limitations we place upon our government.

            Sorry to disagree with you on this part, but there is no such thing as “plain English.” Our language has changed over time and context and meaning has changed over time. That’s why when we try to interpret laws, we sometimes have to try to determine legislative intent.

            Sorry to burst your bubble, but the laws that have developed over the centuries and that are followed by 49 of our states is the “common law,” mainly derived from English law and case law developed over the centuries.

            Only one state is a “Civil Law” state, that being Louisiana.

            The “Common Law” refers to most of the case law that is on the books in each state and at the federal level, mainly having to do with property, contracts, tort law, criminal law, and procedure.

            Again, Amendment VII is a check on government where one must be afforded a jury trial if demanded in a contract, property or tort case. Amendment VI goes to the right to a jury trial in criminal cases.

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee


    Given the current USA Whitehouse leadership example….you are so correct!!

    Talking about organic integrity and truth….for any of you organic dairymen or dairywomen out there, if you have been damaged by the deluge of non compliant so called organic milk from the mega organic dairies, then please email:

    [email protected]

    and become listed as a plaintiff in the pending federal complaint. Now is the time to stand and fight. It is a blessing that Cornucopia is carrying this fight for and with us. Organic must mean pasturing of cows according to the uniform NOP USDA rule or organic value to the farmer and nutritional value to the consumers is lost! Kiss organic dairy goodbye or protest!! Big damages could come back our way, more importantly, this fight secures organic standards and a market that has value!


  • John Dutcher

    First off, congratulations on being allowed to ship raw milk internationally!! Secondly, it ain’t just this administration, not sure if we ever had an honest administration or not, in all reality. Organics is in trouble,esp since the big boys got on board and tptb allow organics to be mutated into quasi-organic. Don’t let the Debbie Downers here get to you, keep up the good work!!

  • John,

    Agreed…..this is the showdown at the “Pasture Ok Corral”. If the Pasture rule is not uniformly enforced and mandated….organic dairy as we know it, is done. It will be CAFO all the way.

    Time to really fight hard. A win will be multigenerational.

  • JHeckman

    Guptill A (2009) Exploring the conventionalization of organic dairy: trends and counter-trends in upstate New York. Agriculture and Human Values; Dordrecht 26:29-42. doi: http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.haverford.edu/10.1007/s10460-008-9179-0

    Stakeholders in traditional dairy-producing states in the upper Midwest and Northeast hope that the boom in the organic milk market will offer family-scale dairy farms a means to escape the cost-price squeeze of the conventional food system. However, recent trends in organic dairy raise questions about whether organic dairy is conventionalizing, which is to say it is coming to resemble the conventional sector as shown in disparities of power in the value chain that pressure all participants to adopt more industrial practices. This paper reports the results of an exploratory qualitative study of whether and how the organic milk value chain in upstate New York is conventionalizing. Findings lend some support to the conventionalization hypothesis in that organic milk from the beginning has been produced, processed, and marketed as a commodity, and the federal regulations governing organic dairy have facilitated the replication of this commodity-based system. However, there is also evidence that some producers are responding to these pressures not by intensifying, but by going deeper into the alternative organic model, forging more direct and local relationships along the value chain and embracing principles of the organic movement.

  • Kyle

    Well said. We all would have wished for a better outcome but he who represents himself has a fool for a client. . .

  • Leon Moyer

    Thanks for printing the letter by Edwin and Dawn Shank above. I copied the most relevant part here which explains why Sam could not comply with some of the FDA law:
    “In his straightforward way of thinking it would be a lie to print the FDA required disclaimer on his labels: You know, the one that says, “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” The truth of the matter is, his salves were intended to treat skin ailments and disease. Of course they were! That’s 100% why he selected those particular herbs for his salve.”
    Now he had another option at trial, and that was to tell his story, by perhaps saying the above words during his direct testimony to the jury. Then in closing argument, he had the option to use the jury nullification doctrine, which is valid and lawful, but judges hate it. Sam could tell the jurors that based on his testimony and belief, they may find him “not guilty” by reason of the law being overly broad, unduly burdensome, void for vagueness, or just plain an unconstitutional infringement on personal rights or interstate commerce! The nullification doctrine basically is that jurors have been declared by the U.S. Supreme Court to have the right to “nullify” ANY law, such as the above administrative regulation that requires those words on a label, and they do not need to give any reason in court, but may speak about why the refused to convict after the case is over if they so choose. Many good attorneys use this argument but they hide it in less offensive terminology to the judge, by telling the jurors to “vote your conscience” or some similar verbiage. There is a website that explains this more fully: http://www.fija.org
    Also, one statement someone made in a post above is not quite correct where they said the appeal filed by the judge on Sam’s behalf is only “pro forma”. The judge did not and will NOT file the appeal, what he most likely did is enter a NOTICE OF APPEAL, which is a document required to be timely filed, often within ten days of a judgment, so that Sam did not lose his right to file an appeal and appellate brief at a later date, if he complies with THOSE time periods and stops the silly “I do not consent” point of view! The Bible tells us to give an answer, not spout some supposedly magic potion that will deprive the Court of jurisdiction! In First Peter 3: 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
    16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”
    So Sam AND EVERYONE ELSE BEING PROSECUTED should look forward to their day in court, to witness to the system and the world about Truth and how the law DOES allow for us to speak the truth! Any law to the contrary is null and void, ab initio!

    • lis

      It’s really simple: WHO (not WHAT)claims that Sam did harm? Put his/her hand on the bible and swear to it, then provide proof. If no claim by a man or woman, NO crime. Can it get simpler than that? The trick is to never use anything from the fictional BAR jurisdiction, including legalese. Common man uses common language in common law.

      Sam (man) can then file a claim for trespass against the man (sometimes acting as prosecutor) for bringing false charges.

  • jomo

    Man lives good clean life. Lives on a farm. Never in trouble. Of Amish. Yet, his ego is why he’s in jail? c’mon… There are cases all over the country going to trial, at trial, or just ending, for far worse an they’re walking the streets. But this man gets 6 years in jail for cosmetic claims? no matter who thinks what on what side of fence. He’s in jail for the same amount of time – some guilty of homicide, rape… 🙁 take away his right to do business. or something of that nature. but jail time?

  • Mark McAfee Mark McAfee

    Rodale said…..”it is not organic to produce organic milk and then pasteurize it”.
    I guess in the larger context… pasteurized organic milk is not organic anyway. How could it be ? Organic means Whole and complete with nothing added or taken away. Dead food? Loss of biodiversity? Loss of vitamins and enzymes? Loss of mineral availability ? Loss of anti inflammatory properties ? Triggers asthma ? Hard to digest?

    Nope….pasteurized organic milk is not organic.

    The organic dairy system was designed at the very outset with a major flaw. It was never intended to be raw. Being raw inlies the innate value that can not be faked or cured by the application of technology.

    So goes history and truth. It is not nice to fool Mother Nature. She tends to bite back in strange ways.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    With respect to the truth, a Christians is not called to use specious arguments but to rather be simple and direct. “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one”. Matthew 5: 37

    Lament all you want about Sam choosing to defend himself in court, better still if you truly wish to get a glimpse of the man read all of Matthew chapter 5…

  • don

    WOW why is it so HARD for people to not SEE and SMELL the judicial manure pile for what it REALLY is??? This SYSTEM has been operating for at least 2800 years 1kings 21 Jezebel Queen of Israel wanted to cheer up her hubby after a land owner refused to give up his OWNER-SHIP to the king. So the sly Queen wrote CERTIFIED LEGAL DOCUMENTS to the local BLACK ROBED ones to bring the owner to COURT and FALSELY ACCUSE him and then STONE him to death and they did and members of his family also 2kings 9. So the LAND TITLE was gifted to Ahab the king. So the king is happy the locals did their CIVIL duty as directed by the QUEEN. Ecc.3:16 I saw under the sun [everywhere] in the place of judgment wickedness was there [ISV halls of justice] As it was then so it is now SIGH???
    But hey we can hire [bankrupt ourselves] a good Barrister and solve the legal snares we have been trapped in and netted by!! What an AWFULL spot we are in!!!

  • John Dutcher

    You can argue that in court till the cows come home and you will still go to jail, unfortunately, in the USofA,you have one choice, follow the law, or get caught and go to jail. Personally, I think,these types of convictions certainly are travesties of justice. The system is so embedded, I cannot see any change happening without some sort of action that will not be “politically correct” :>)A tangled web we weave and besides us humans are the “nastiest” creatures on earth, a hog will not even shit in his own nest!!

  • Don

    John I AINT arguing any thing!! Just pointing out some history.
    I REST MY CASE http://www.pacourtwatch.com/2017/06/26/money-laundering-behind-judicial-corruption/

  • John Dutcher

    I tried to open the link you sent, but with my ancient inernet server, I could not open it. I apologize if I misunderstood your point, I thought you were defending the common man/straw man theory. Money not only buys the best justice available, but it also buys the best legislation possible too, just ask Monsanto,Dean Foods,Merck,Pfizer,Lockheed,General Electric and on and on,it can buy you a presidency too, or so thought Hillary, Trump must have had more money to spend, it is all such a sad joke( on the rest of us poor working slobs), cause it IS all about money, the Beatles were wrong, it CAN buy you love too, just look at how many old rich farts have an arm piece to walk around with :>) Of course, most arm pieces are about as useful as tits on a boar hog. I am gonna go have another cup of coffee with my illegal cream and am going to drink it with an illegal smile too. Like Joel Salatin said:”Everything I want to do is illegal” So flipping true!!

  • John Dutcher

    Also for those of you that hate Trump so much( and I am certainly no fan of Trump , but he was elected, albeit by electoral college, not popular vote and he IS our president, like it or not). I see things very differently than most folks, If you voted for Hillary and you do not like Trump, look in the mirror and cuss yourself out. I know a shitload of voters that voted for Trump because they could NOT vote for Hillary, So between pro-Hillary voters and the DNC being crooks, we get Trump, instead of Bernie Sanders, gotta love politics, we have the best money can buy :>) Back to my illegal cream,coffee and smile before I go cut some hay :>)

  • Don

    John do you have a LICENSE to cut hay. Better check your local UCC regs. I trimmed some of my grass today so when the grass police measure any weed it will be below the limit.. Believe it or not some locals do have a weed height limit plus no noxious weeds ALLOWED. Maybe that’s part of UN AGENDA 21 not sure… Next we will need a LICENSE to breath the air..

  • John Dutcher

    I do know of the weed police, thankfully I live in a township that has no zoning, our state has not passed any weed laws, as of yet, but townships do here.Farm Bureau is all for it too. Here in this state Farm Bureau wields great political power.Our county has very few regs also, still America here, to a degree.
    Your quote of the 7th Amendment ( as Cheesemaker said)only guarantees a trial by jury. Anyone can plea bargain( like tptb prefer) and forego a jury trial.

  • don

    John forgot to mention the TOILET POLICE here in Pa and Va you must pump your septic system or THEY will FINE you [FINE = LEGALESE for seize a portion of your money]and if you don’t pay you may end up in a cage. Anyway you and your family have a FINELESS day.
    PS I wonder if as yet anyone read the article in the link I posted from pacourtwatch.com The Money Laundering Behind Chronic Judicial Corruption no comments yet. And if Sam would have only hired one of these wolves he would be home with his family now! I know I am very sarcastic forgive me no harm intended to any of my fellow slaves.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    “A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.” Benjamin Franklin

  • John Dutcher

    You have to pump your septic even if it does not need it????? Is it like a once a year thing?? Wow, I thought mandated insurance was bad LOL. I will try to get that link to open again, sorry, I have dial up internet service, most of you probably don’t even know what dial up internet service is LOL!! We even had the “fun police” at one of our farmers markets, she said the market was too much like a “fair or carnival”, I really felt sorry for that woman.

  • don

    John Every 3 years

    • John Dutcher


      • don

        Not really The BRITS had their War of The Roses [just a symbol of course]. But I will take my stand with the Vets. against the grass army of the Mayor and his weeds. ITS ALL ABOUT POWER THEN AND NOW!! ARE THERE ANY ADULTS AROUND ANYMORE??? I FEAR NOT!!!

  • Don

    OOPS sorry I posted that link to the self-censoring taboo no no shut your mouth subject the legal laundry article at pacourtwatch.com
    Maybe this wont be a BARed subject. http://www.eveningsun.com/story/news/2017/05/26/gettysburg-considers-selling-air-rights/343082001/ And yes you did read that title correctly AND the [ADULT?] city ELECTED OFICIALS got the ideal from other US cities practices!!!
    What other insanity is taking place that we don’t know about???

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    It’s unfortunate the Canadian and “American” governments don’t compensate its veterans and the families of soldiers killed in action in the same way the Canadian government does for known, self admitted terrorists.



    Perhaps I’m somewhat confused and irrational, but I fail to comprehend the need to compensate a convicted terrorist 10.5 million dollars. Indeed, the Canadian government seems to be disconnected from the needs of its peaceful, freedom loving citizens! Michael Schmitt is a case in point…they spend millions of dollars harassing and prosecuting him and his cowshare members while at the same time giving chemical and drug companies licenses to pollute.

  • don

    THEY don’t even need to take US to court anymore just point their finger!!!
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-10/confiscation-second-half-governments-pincer AND CARRY OUT THE SENTENCE!!! WOE IS US!! Someone tell me I got it all wrong. SIGH

  • Lynn_M

    That story in Zero Hedge refers to SB1241, which fortunately is still only a Senate bill. But should it pass, you’re right about the US only needing to point their finger and then carry out the sentence. And they could confiscate all of your assets, so you have nothing to fight back with. This carries the robbery of civil asset forfeiture laws to the national level.

    The bill seems to be limited in effect to people leaving US borders. They will be able to get their hooks in you even if you want to get the h-ll out of Dodge.

  • Talked with FTCLDF today, it appears that the wait is getting closer to the end. It has been about 2 years since our filing of the FDA citizens petition about raw butter.

    This case is the one that will bring the FDA to its knees on the interstate shipment of raw dairy products.

    Raw butter has a near perfect food safety history. No deaths ever !!! No illnesses from sale of store bought raw butter ever!

    This is official data. The congress passed a law about 100 years ago that gave butter very specific protections from regulation or standards of identity. The FDA violated these protections with CFR 1240.61. The citizens petition is now soon moving to the federal courts and the fda will be compelled to bend to the law and set aside its terrible bias.

    Looking forward to these next steps toward food access and freedom.

  • don

    http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-11-insidious-leaders-how-the-last-five-u-s-presidents-royally-screwed-up-american-food-and-medicine.html And if the Black Robed ones were to defrock the LLC status [cant put me in a dungeon] of corporations just maybe perhaps we could obtain REAL FOOD again and not need to be wheeled in the office of the MEDICINE MEN to say incantations over us while emptying our pockets??? Forgive me again for being sarcastic is there a pill for my chronic dis-ease???
    Additional note on the criminal salver maker Sam he has receive a few more lashes on the back it has been reported that a number of his church brothers have turned away he is UNTOUCHABLE now I PRESUME they think he is lost and going straight to HELL.
    It kinda appears like we all are in hell already no? SIGH AND SIGH

  • D. Smith D. Smith

    I have no opinion on this one way or the other – I’m staying neutral here. But I wanted to post this article I found this morning. There are some good embedded links.


  • don

    Smart man he paid his deserved fine for breaking the law unlike criminal Sam. The GRASS POLICE did their civic duty. Next up LICENSE PLATES for our lawn mower and fines for speeding while mowing our grass?

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