SEATTLE, Washington - Backwoods white survivalists and black nationalist schemers have at least one thing in common - a byzantine, conspiratorial plan to escape debts and place themselves above the law known as "Redemption Theory". And while I can visualize the mimeographed newsletters by which this theory was distributed in the past, the paperwork and instructions to help you achieve "Redemption" are now sold on the good old internet, at the Moorish Republic Nation.
The analogous movement among black men is known as the al Moroccan Empire, or Moors, or Moorish Nation, or other things with Moor in the name. The only reason I know about any of this at all is that a few guys in Atlantic City were caught up in this a few years ago. In 2003 three men, including former Atlantic City Housing Authority director W. Oscar Harris, were hauled before a judge [links to Press of AC now pay-only - jeff] for attempting to liberate their "straw man." Per their ideolgy, they responded to questions from the judge with identical, cryptic responses, including "If you think you can make a legal determination for me, you're fired", "I do not wish to contract with you", and my personal favorite, "Is this your chambers, or a courtroom?"
The black wing of all of this has added an interesting twist - they claim that the 1787 treaty between the Morocco and the United States exempts "Moroccans" from U.S. law. Thus, when Moor devotee and former Pleasantville (NJ) police officer Thomas Scott was being tried for fraud, [links to Press of AC now pay-only - jeff]he simply informed the court that his name was now Oman Valord Bey and that the laws of the United States no longer applied to him.
I've read the treaty in question and I don't think I see what they're talking about.