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Mother of All Issues: Corporate Personhood

Why do we have to fight so much and so hard against illegal logging? Why are we fed the same coverage on pope's funeral over and over, when there are many other important issues going on? Why are people too fat? Why are polar bears dying?
Many of the problem we face today is closely related to a sneaky incident in 1886: the "birth" of corporate personhood.
The case seemed innocuous: the law suit, South Pacific Railroad vs. Santa Clara County, was about taxing of lampposts. Yet a court clerk who was bribed by the railroad barons, sneaked in a little head note in the final verdict...which claimed that corporations are "persons," just like you and me!

That, in a sense, was the birth of all these problems we face today. Even though We the People were never officially even asked or consulted, with the little sneaky headnote of a court clerk, our constitutional rights to freedom of speech (1st amendment), privacy (4th amendment), rights against double jeopady (5th amendment) and protection from discrimination (14th amendment) were given away to corporations--a monster, legal fiction which needs no fresh air to breathe or water to drink; doesn't have a body to die or be confined in jail even if it committed a crime; can be in many places on earth at the same time; and can grow head after head even if you chopped it off with a mighty sword.

If a corporations are "persons" as they claim, what kind of persons are they?

A highly acclaimed film "the Corporation" explains, depicts, and details it all. It gives us revealing portrait of this monster we are now subjected to live with. It also gives us hope to fight and take back our human rights, and visions for the future.

Want to find our more? Come join us at this FREE showing of:

"the Corporation," a film by Michael Achbar, Jennifer Abbott & Joel Bakan,
starring: Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore, Ray Andersen of Interface, Phil Knights of Nike, and many more...

When: April 10th, Sunday 1:00pm
Where: Multnomah County Central Library (Library Conference Room), 801 SW 10th Avenue, Downtown Portland

presented by End Corporate Personhood (ecp) Oregon, a citizen's working group to end corporate personhood and take back human rights and democracy.
for more information, visit: www.ecporegon.org

homepage: homepage: http://www.ecporegon.org

you could at least get the facts straight 09.Apr.2005 13:43


they will make fun of your lampposts
they will point out that there is no headnote in the final verdict
they will say (correctly) that you slander the clerk

you will look stupid
worse, you will look refuted

.. note that the discussion starts from an earlier version of the article


I believe you will find useful some of the links in the first wikipedia article

Yeah, yeah, yeah -- 09.Apr.2005 14:15

Progressive Democrat

If you keep checking you will find that someone "misspoke" back then and the Supreme Court's interpretation was successfully used and abused to mean exactly what the power of corporations, represented by their high-paid attorneys, SAID THAT IT MEANT. That's an old story -- or do you believe that the Federal courts are consistent in their application of the law? If so, you need to do some checking into the facts of real life -- the cases that have been dismissed or decided for corporate power and private property and against people and the environment -- the multitude of cases that you can't even find on the iNet (without paying out to a reporting service) and that wikipedia doesn't have an interest in reporting.

It's true that corporations aren't like citizens -- entitled to vote -- but they don't much care about that limitation because they have gotten the Supreme Court to equate campaign funding with freedom of speech. They control the presidency, in case you haven't noticed. They are attempting to take over the congress completely, by eliminating the filibuster rule -- and then they will be able to pack the courts to eliminate any vestiges of the courts as they were once tending since FDR.

What your wikipedia article is all about is just one case, about a hundred years ago, and what it mainly proves is that even when the corporations loose in the Supreme Court they have the power to cover it up and to make people, including many lower courts, believe that the Supreme Court decision means what the corporations say it means!



THEN YOU get your facts straight!

Also see, Joel Kovel's THE ENEMY OF NATURE --


Also, see recent article posted by Yoshie (with a great link) --



wikipedia is fine but NOT THE LAST WORD!

United State Supreme Court? NOT THE LAST WORD! For one thing, they change their "last word" all the time. And, if Bush gets away with packing the courts, they will be changing all kinds of last words -- all with the intent and result of tipping power away from the people toward corporations.

The question isn't whether corporations are legally "persons" but how corporations are legally given rights that are greater than the rights of ordinary people!

Nitpicking is a waste of time. If you are into that kind of thing, go get a law degree -- but first go and talk to a few attorneys that you can respect and find out to what extent they believe in the law anymore as practiced in the Federal courts!

hollow arguments abound 09.Apr.2005 14:20

fact checker

Which facts are not "straight"?

It is fact that J.C. Bancroft Davis is attributed to writing a headnote to the South Pacific Railroad vs. Santa Clara County that did not reflect the decision rendered in that case. The court did not rule on the issue of corporate personhood yet Bancroft, the court reporter, wrote in the headnote (unless one believes that it was Justice Fields, or someone else that wrote it under Bancroft's name), "Corporations are persons within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment...". He did this despite Chief Justice Waite's personal correspondence to Davis stating that the case "avoided meeting the constitutional question in the decision." Not to mention that the decision was not published with Bancroft's headnote until after Chief Justice Waite's death in 1888.

I would suggest that those facts are sufficiently "straight".

In the context, "mother" ... 09.Apr.2005 14:30

The Grand Narrator

... means the issue that all the other issues have in common. Like Mother Earth is what all the life forms have in common.

So, "mother of all issues" doesn't mean that corporatism is feminine or matriarchal -- it means the opposite of that. It means that the ISSUE of corporatism, that is the movement to eliminate corporatism, is feminine and matriarchal. It has to be, because of what you point out, that corporatism is essentially patriarchal. It is, indeed, the last stronghold of patriarchy in the modern world.

Related articles recently posted -- 09.Apr.2005 14:34

Progressive Democrat

From article titled "Promised peace -- we get war" at


<< The imperatives of global capital -- for unrestrained and perpetual growth of MONETARY (not necessarily productive) capital accumulation -- are played out through the institution of the struggle for financial power, the postmodern corporation. >>

<< [About] excessive influence over the U. S. politic by the international ("corporate") institutions of global capital. When I coin "corporate" in this context, I don't necessarily refer to the restructuring of U. S. corporate law, although that is clearly a necessary reform.

<< See, David Korten's WHEN CORPORATIONS RULE THE WORLD --  http://www.pcdf.org/corprule/corporat.htm

<< By international ("corporate") institutions I mean to refer to such financial institutions as Exxon Corporation, the Carlyle Group, Credit Suisse, the Bank of China, the Communist Party ("Animal Farm") government of China, and "our" own World Bank and IMF -- and, above all, to the W.T.O. beaurocracy and the corporate insiders that battle for control of that beaurocracy. And when I say "excessive influence" of those institutions, I do not refer necessarily to particular pools of capital that come and go in the world of global capital -- nor to any conspiracy of such particular pools of capital -- I refer rather to the systemic influence that must be wielded by the competitors for control of global capital.

<< See, Joel Kovel's THE ENEMY OF NATURE --  http://www.feasta.org/documents/review2/enemy_of_nature.htm

<< Also, see recent article posted by Yoshie (with a great link) --  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/04/315139.shtml >>

Mussolini, the inventor of modern fascism, defined fascism as corporatism! Help to turn back the tide toward fascism by opposing further expansion of presidential power! Support senators that are going against Bush in a filibuster over anti-environmental judges!

Check out "Please call your senators to save the courts" --


AND check out "EarthJustice ALERT - stop appointment of anti-environment judges!" --


Recently posted articles about how corporatism works --

"Wall Street: How It Works and for Whom" by Yoshie (with a GREAT link) --

AND "Capital Crimes: On Everyday Capitalism" by Arno Klonne (trans. by mbatko) --

AND "Opposing the European Rage of Privatization" by Thomas Fritz (trans. by mbatko) -


mother of all hooey 09.Apr.2005 16:45

c m schaefer

"I hate it when you attribute patriarchical organizations and destructiveness to women. The ability to care for someone else, or some other being is not a weakness."

It is also not an exclusively female trait. You would do well not to let a knee-jerk reaction to a single word blind you to the larger issue. While it is a good idea to strive for gender-neutrality, don't get bent out of shape at a turn of phrase which was not meant to be offensive nor to denigrate women.

By the way- you do the same thing you accuse him of when you blindly attribute patriarchy to the organizations in question. They are gender-neutral- willing to screw the common man as well as the common woman.

How far will we get in anything if we devolve into the divisiveness of "all men are evil"? Just as there should be no subjugation of women, there should be no denigration of men.

In the mean time- why is it that, male or female aside, corporations have more rights and less responsibility than individual people? It's neither a male thing nor a female thing, but a money thing. Let us focus on ending that for EVERYBODY!!

Signed C M (a mother, by the way)


ecp oregon -- you forgot one 09.Apr.2005 21:30

Fat Albert

You list a few amendments that apply to corporations, including some in the Bill of Rights but you forgot to mention the 2nd amendment. It seems they have that today as well. This, I believe is what the administration refers to by the phrase, "protecting American interests."

Just as the second amendment gives you or I the right to own a shotgun, multinationals can exert influence to order an airstrike or an invasion. It is just a matter of scale.

Dig Deeper 10.Apr.2005 00:07

The Punisher

What You Didn't Know
About Taxes & The 'Crown'
By Mark Owen

There are two Crowns operant in England, one being Queen Elizabeth II. Although extremely wealthy, the Queen functions largely in a ceremonial capacity and serves to deflect attention away from the other Crown, who issues her marching orders through their control of the English Parliament. This other Crown is comprised of a committee of 12 banks headed by the Bank of England (House of Rothschild). They rule the world from the 677-acre, independent sovereign state known as The City of London, or simply 'The City.'

The City is not a part of England, just as Washington is not a part of the USA. The City is referred to as the wealthiest square mile on earth and is presided over by a Lord Mayor who is appointed annually. When the Queen wishes to conduct business within the City, she is met by the Lord Mayor at Temple (Templar) Bar where she requests permission to enter this private, sovereign state. She then proceeds into the City walking several paces behind the Mayor. Her entourage may not be clothed in anything other than service uniforms.

In the nineteenth century, 90% of the world's trade was carried by British ships controlled by the Crown. The other 10% of ships had to pay commissions to the Crown simply for the privilege of using the world's oceans.

The Crown reaped billions in profits while operating under the protection of the British armed forces. This was not British commerce or British wealth, but the Crown's commerce and the Crown's wealth. As of 1850, author Frederick Morton estimated the Rothschild fortune to be in excess of $10 billion. Today, the bonded indebtedness of the world is held by the Crown.

The aforementioned Temple Bar is the juristic arm of the Crown and holds an exclusive monopoly on global legal fraud through their Bar Association franchises. The Temple Bar is comprised of four Inns of Court. They are; the Middle Temple, Inner Temple, Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn. The entry point to these closed secret societies is only to be found when one is called to their Bar.

The Bar attorneys in the United States owe their allegiance and pledge their oaths to the Crown. All Bar Associations throughout the world are signatories and franchises to the International Bar Association located at the Inns of Court of the Crown Temple.

The Inner Temple holds the legal system franchise by license that bleeds Canada and Great Britain white, while the Middle Temple has license to steal from America. To have the Declaration of Independence recognized internationally, Middle Templar King George III agreed in the Treaty of Paris of 1783 to establish the legal Crown entity of the incorporated United States, referred to internally as the Crown Temple States (Colonies). States spelled with a capital letter 'S,' denotes a legal entity of the Crown.

At least five Templar Bar Attorneys under solemn oath to the Crown, signed the American Declaration of Independence. This means that both parties were agents of the Crown. There is no lawful effect when a party signs as both the first and second parties. The Declaration was simply an internal memo circulating among private members of the Crown. Most Americans believe that they own their own land, but they have merely purchased real estate by contract. Upon fulfillment of the contract, control of the land is transferred by Warranty Deed. The Warranty Deed is only a 'color of title.' Color of Title is a semblance or appearance of title, but not title in fact or in law. The Warranty Deed cannot stand against the Land Patent.

The Crown was granted Land Patents in North America by the King of England. Colonials rebelled at the usurious Crown taxes, and thus the Declaration of Independence was created to pacify the populace.

Another method used to hoodwink natural persons is enfranchisement. Those cards in your wallet bearing your name spelled in all capital letters means that you have been enfranchised and have the status of a corporation. A 'juristic personality' has been created, and you have entered into multi-variant agreements that place you in an equity relationship with the Crown.

These invisible contracts include: birth certificates, citizenship records, employment agreements, driver's licenses and bank accounts. It is perhaps helpful to note here that contracts do not now, nor have they ever had to be stated in writing in order to be enforceable by American judges. If it is written down, it is merely a written statement of the contract.

Tax protestors and (the coming) draft resistors trying to renounce the parts of these contracts that they now disagree with will not profit by resorting to tort law (fairness) arguments as justification. Judges will reject these lines of defense as they have no bearing on contract law jurisprudence. Tort law governs grievances where no contract law is in effect.

These private agreements/contracts that bind us will always overrule the broad general clauses of the Constitution and Bill of Rights (the Constitution being essentially a renamed enactment of English common law). The Bill of Rights is viewed by the Crown as a 'bill of benefits,' conferred on us by them in anticipation of reciprocity (taxes). Protestors and resistors will also lose their cases by boasting of citizenship status. Citizenship is another equity agreement that we have with the Crown. And this is the very juristic contract that Federal judges will use to incarcerate them. In the words of former Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, "Equity is brutal, but we are merely enforcing agreements." The balance of Title 42, section 1981 of the Civil Rights Code states, ".citizens shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind"

What we view as citizenship, the Crown views as a juristic enrichment instrumentality. It also should be borne in mind that even cursory circulation or commercial use of Federal Reserve Notes effects an attachment of liability for the payment of the Crown's debt to the FED. This is measured by your taxable income. And to facilitate future asset-stripping, the end of the 14th amendment includes a state of debt hypothecation of the United States, wherein all enfranchised persons (that's you) can be held personally liable for the Crown's debt.

The Crown views our participation in these contracts of commercial equity as being voluntary and that any gain accrued is taxable, as the gain wouldn't have been possible were it not for the Crown. They view the system of interstate banks as their own property. Any profit or gain experienced by anyone with a bank account (or loan, mortgage or credit card) carries with it - as an operation of law - the identical same full force and effect as if the Crown had created the gain.

Bank accounts fall outside the umbrella of Fourth Amendment protection because a commercial contract is in effect and the Bill of Rights cannot be held to interfere with the execution of commercial contracts. The Crown also views bank account records as their own private property, pursuant to the bank contract that each of us signed and that none of us ever read.

The rare individual who actually reads the bank contract will find that they agreed to be bound by Title 26 and under section 7202 agreed not to disseminate any fraudulent tax advice. This written contract with the Crown also acknowledges that bank notes are taxable instruments of commerce.

When we initially opened a bank account, another juristic personality was created. It is this personality (income and assets) that IRS agents are excising back to the Crown through taxation.

A lot of ink is being spilled currently over Social Security. Possession of a Social Security Number is known in the Crown's lex as 'conclusive evidence' of our having accepted federal commercial benefits. This is another example of an equity relationship with the Crown. Presenting one's Social Security Number to an employer seals our status as taxpayers, and gives rise to liability for a reciprocal quid pro quo payment of taxes to the Crown.

Through the Social Security Number we are accepting future retirement endowment benefits. Social Security is a strange animal. If you die, your spouse gets nothing, but rather, what would have gone to you is divided (forfeited) among other premium payers who haven't died yet.

But the Crown views failure to reciprocate in any of these equity attachments as an act of defilement and will proceed against us with all due prejudice. For a person to escape the tentacles of the Crown octopus, a thoroughgoing study of American jurisprudence is required. One would have to be deemed a 'stranger to the public trust,' forfeit all enfranchisement benefits and close all bank accounts, among other things. Citizenship would have to be made null and forfeit and the status of 'denizen' enacted. If there are any such natural persons extant who have passed through this fire, I would certainly appreciate hearing from them

From  GazorgFarkelman@aol.com

Mark Owen is INCORRECT. A spouse of a deceased gets Social Security payments of 1/2 of the deceased monthly payment, or their own entitlement, whichever is higher.

A spouse need not have worked at all to receive the 1/2 payment.

There is also a "death benefit" of approximately $250. paid to the survivor.

Those who do not fact check should not submit false articles to Rense.

Mark Owen

Your reader is somewhat correct in his Social Security surmise. The act is constantly in a state of flux and was ammended last year. I possessed copies of the act of 2003. Thus ammended, and according to their own words today:

"...The number of years you need to work for your family to be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits depends on your age when you die..."

There are other restrictions on spousal death benefits too numerous to cite.

A case is made in civil law according to a preponderance of evidence. Under contract law, the complainant (your reader) would be the victor. Under tort law, my arguments would still suffice and be actionable.

My article emphasizes overarching themes of the Crown matrix that have heretofore not been broached.

Mother of all Strawmen Arguments 10.Apr.2005 09:48


As the Punisher rather obliquely points out, personal wealth is behind what people rather incorrectly perceive as "corporate greed." A corporation is nothing more than a legal entity meant to define and, therefore, regulate the resources which people provide it.

The current Bush Admin, Halliburton, the Carlysle Group, etc. are not true capitalists. The current Republican Party is not capitalist. It is pro personal wealth, because a private entity is not subject to the scrutiny of a corporation. Therefore, these groups have contrived to siphon vast sums of money from governments (many municipalities are incorporated, by the way) and corporations, into the pockets of people like Dick Cheney, Ken Lay, etc.

That's the game. That's why the GOP, while speaking of being probusiness, does everything in its power to deregulate industry. A strong-form efficient capitalist society, with strong regulation of corporations implied by that, and free competition is actually one of the most stabilizing ballists a democracy can have. However, it must be regulated and it must be subject to free competition.