Commercial Liens – a Potent Weapon

This manual is intended purely as a communication of information in accordance with the right of free speech. It does not constitute either general or specific legal advice. Anyone seeking legal advice should consult a competent professional. Neither the author, editor or publisher guarantee that using this information will result in success or protect the reader from harm. The reader must accept that risk, and thoroughly study the law before using any of this material. Readers must take full responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken based on the contents of this manual.

For most readers, you may well be best off reading this as a sort of “adventure novel.” You can learn of some of the actual documents and procedures being used by many freedom fighters. If you were to actually use these documents and procedures you would probably be at substantial risk to change your life in very major ways, some of which may be very unpleasant. The use of Commercial Liens as described in this manual is EXTREMELY high-profile. For most readers, it may be advisable to use some of the “lower-profile” applications of Freedom Technology. Generally, we think that rather than fight existing systems it’s much more productive, useful, and exciting to create alternative new systems.

This disclaimer is especially important, because this is a relatively new strategy, and has not yet been subjected to a Supreme Court challenge. Until that takes place, the soundness of this strategy cannot be fully known. The Commercial Lien Strategy is still evolving, and new information is being discovered daily. If you use this strategy, who knows? Your name may be on a famous Supreme Court case! Whether that prospect thrills you or disturbs you depends upon your outlook.

These liens, because they are so powerful, should be treated with respect. We, at Build Freedom, do not advocate the use of these liens against all government officials, nor to any official in particular. We honor the fact that there are many virtuous people in government offices, who are truly striving to harm no one and to benefit as many people in society as possible. The liens described in this manual are not directed towards these harmless officials.

Scope and Purpose of ManualThis manual is an introduction and primer to the Commercial Lien Strategy. It does not pretend to be the final word on the subject. The authors and editors have synthesized material from several sources. We have organized it into a form that should be comprehensible to the average reader.

After reading this manual, you will know the fundamental principles of this strategy. This understanding, plus the Bibliography in Appendix A, will allow you to do further research on your own.

Some Notes on the Sample Briefs Included with this manual is an Appendix containing sample legal briefs, based upon actual examples used by others.

You will have to reformat these briefs using your word processing software, and you MUST adapt them to your situation, and to the requirements of your state or locality. These are not and (in the nature of things) cannot be “fill-in-the-blank” forms.

The Commercial Lien Strategy – Background Faced with corrupt lawyers and judges, no litigant can expect to win in court by simply playing defense. To beat them, you must be able to scare them. You must be able to make them respect you, and that means you must be able to take the offense — attack them personally.

Unfortunately, judges, lawyers, and other government officials enjoy various levels of personal immunity provided by both law and “professional courtesy.” How do you sue a lawyer for malpractice? You hire another lawyer — if you can find one who’ll take the case. How do you sue an IRS agent for violating your Constitutional rights? Only with great difficulty. How you sue a judge for railroading you in court? You don’t.

As a practical matter, private citizens can’t sue the President of the United States, a Governor, judge, or even an IRS agent for failing to obey or enforce the laws. If we try to sue in court to compel our government officials to obey the law and perform their lawful duties, the judges routinely ignore our petitions and laugh us out of court.

Because legal and de facto immunities shield government personnel from being sued for committing crimes against the People, the public is legally disarmed, unable to aggressively sue the government or its agents and compel them to obey the Law. As a result, the public’s legal posture is fundamentally defensive: we try to duck, dodge, and hide in legal loopholes to defend ourselves against the government and the courts.

We try to escape, evade, and avoid, but we seldom counter-attack against our antagonists, largely because we think there are no lawful weapons to do so. However, it appears that a powerful offensive legal weapon may now have been discovered, tested, and proven for common Citizens — the commercial lien. We don’t try to sue a government official for failing to perform his lawful duties. Instead, we simply file a lien that encumbers the official’s personal property and credit rating like a ton of bricks until he voluntarily satisfies our demand to perform his lawful duty, and we, in turn, voluntarily agree to excise the lien.

Some Examples of the StrategyExample 1 — Edward J. Wagner, an hourly, unionized employee at General Electric, received Notices of Levy from the IRS, garnishing his wages and moneys received from several other sources. Wagner tried to persuade G.E. not to honor the Notices, since they were not properly attested as “true bills of commerce.” His efforts met with no success.

After giving G.E. proper Notice and Demand, Wagner and his wife filed a Commercial Lien in the amount of $224,640,00.00. In the lien, Wagner impounded G.E. inventory that he had worked on (including air conditioning units, analyzing equipment, etc.) as security for the lien. This is similar to an auto mechanic impounding a car he had repaired (“mechanic’s lien”). This meant that G.E. could not lawfully sell or transfer the equipment until the lien was either extinguished or satisfied.

Among the reasons for the high dollar amount are that the law allows for such high sums as rewards for damages incurred, and it generally has to be large enough in relation to the size of the company involved, to get its attention. Otherwise such a large company might just ignore it.

Consequently, a legal war followed, and by June of ’92, G.E. had gone to court several times trying to remove Wagner’s lien, all without any real success. This was in spite of the fact that G.E. had the best, most highly paid, and highly motivated lawyers.

In June of ’92, the first major victory for the Wagners came. The IRS issued four different official Releases of Levy, one to General Electric, plus three other places where they had wages and income that the IRS had levied — the Port of Seattle, Dean Witter Reynolds, and Ohio State Life Insurance Company. These effectively released the IRS’s attachment on the Wagners’ income and assets. That’s a pretty solid testimonial to the power of the arguments in Mr. Wagner’s lien.

Example 2 — In August 1992, Mr. Nelson Starr, who lives in Florida, filed a lien on several federal judges, the Commissioner of the IRS, the Attorney General of the United States, one or more U.S. attorneys for the Southern District of Florida, and several other individuals, in the amount of $350,000 on each individual. The officials asked Mr. Alan Diamond, President of the Florida Bar Association, to inspect the lien and see if it was lawful or not.

In spite of his desire to please his powerful friends, Diamond could find nothing illegal about the lien. In fact, in a sworn affidavit, Diamond declared that, “…the document causes irreparable harm to the system of the administration of justice. While some of the harm may be compensable at law, no degree of compensation will adequately remedy the damage to the appearance of integrity of those named and of the system of the administration of justice. In my opinion, the filing of this type of lien is a direct attack on the justice system and on the general reputations of those named in the “lien.” It may negatively impact on the financial credit rating of those individuals. It will probably have a negative impact on their willingness to continue to serve as representatives of the United States.

And, it constitutes an abuse of civil process that cannot be adequately remedied by an action at law. [emphasis added]” In plain English, Diamond did not like the lien, but couldn’t find any way to extinguish it. Further, he seemed to say that these liens could drive public officials right out of office! For libertarians and patriots, that is a powerful endorsement!

Example 3 – Another a man in Florida filed Commercial Liens against nine IRS agents and was later taken to court by the IRS agents’ wives. The wives tried unsuccessfully to remove the liens, because their credit cards had stopped working. The liens had compromised their credit rating, and they couldn’t go shopping except with cash. Imagine the distress that the IRS agents themselves had to endure from their wives on account of these liens! Evidently, the liens hit the agents where they lived, in a way that other actions at law could not do.

Example 4 – Perhaps the most imaginative use of the Commercial Lien Strategy is a lien by Mr. Phil Marsh of the Pilot Connection against the President of the United States, the U.S. Congress, the Federal Reserve, and the Commissioner of IRS on behalf of all 250 million Americans (see Appendix B.6). For each of the 250 million Americans, the lien demands $10,000. If the lien were enforced, it would mean the government would owe the people $2.5 trillion, over half the annual Gross National Product.

This “class action lien” will almost certainly never be enforced. However, if the courts find a way to extinguish it, it may have the effect of weakening the power of all liens (including the one the IRS files on us!).

[Editor’s Note: Everything in this manual is “information” only, not legal advice. This caveat applies with particular force to Mr. Marsh’s lien. We present this lien as an interesting and imaginative application of the Commercial Lien Strategy, not as an “endorsement.”

Build Freedom originally included Phil Marsh and The Pilot Connection on our list of sources. However, some of our customers began to complain about poor service, and some raised questions about the integrity of the group. Later, Marsh appeared on the television show 20/20 and vigorously denounced the IRS. Also, it appears that The Pilot Connection may have been stockpiling arms and ammunition. These actions invited official retaliation, which was not long in coming.

In 1994, Phil Marsh and other members of The Pilot Connection were prosecuted by Federal territorial gangsters on a smorgasbord of criminal charges. In November of that year, the trial ended in a hung jury on most counts, and a few outright acquittals, with no convictions. The defense team included “public defenders” and two experienced pro se litigants from the National Commodity and Barter Association. The pro se’s from N.C.B.A. later reported that Marsh was highly resistant to their legal advice throughout the trial.

These facts suggest that Marsh is relatively blind to strategy, and that his reasoning is at a “proto-conscious” level, with a strong commitment to being “right” regardless of new information. Given Mr. Marsh’s track record, we strongly advise readers of his lien to thoroughly scrutinize and research his legal theories before using any of them.]


Ease of UseAlthough this lien strategy is explosive, it’s more like nitro-glycerin than hydrogen bombs. You need to be knowledgeable and careful to use nitro-glycerin, but you don’t need to be a nuclear physicist. However, nitro-glycerin can blow up in your face if you handle it carelessly!

Likewise, “bombing” government officials with liens is a craft, not a science, that can be used as easily by knowledgeable pro se’s as it can by lawyers and legal scholars. The commercial lien is simple, inexpensive, and takes very little time. It requires no court action or judge’s approval. And, it has proven to be very direct and effective, if it is handled correctly. However, a few careless pro se’s have had their liens “blow up” in their faces (see Chapter 5), so be meticulous when you use them.

Long RangeYou can file a commercial lien on property in another state or on property you’ve never seen. With a commercial lien, you can attack the personal property of your adversary at long range rather than merely fighting to defend your own property in your own back yard. This offensive capability makes the commercial lien a powerful legal weapon. With the commercial lien, you can literally take the fight to their back yards.