The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How Freedom of Religion Acts Protect Non-Mainstream Faiths...

...The Same Way Mainstream Faiths Have Always Been Protected

Let me start by telling you a shocking thing.  I have repeatedly witnessed people, alleged Christians even, serving children as young as nine alcohol at social gatherings.  They did so in front of hundreds of witnesses, that certainly even included cops.  And no one did anything.  No one called the police, no one arrested them.  Not even me.  And why not?

Because it was in church.  Duh.

Mind you, I am not even sure it is legal in my state.  The Virginia Code doesn’t have any obvious exception to the prohibition on possession or consumption of alcohol by a person under twenty one years of age that seems to apply to religious use.  There is a “sacramental use” exception to the prohibition of alcohol possession and consumption on school grounds, but that is a prohibition that applies to everyone, not just children.  Likewise, there are rules allowing religious congregations to acquire wine, but like the other section, it says nothing about allowing people under the age of twenty-one to consume alcohol.  On the other hand, the Court of Appeals of Virginia seemed to think it was legal, somehow, in 1996, although they cited nothing for that proposition.  It is possible the exception is buried in the Virginia code and I just couldn’t think of the Boolean search to find it, especially because religious exceptions come under so many different names.

Or perhaps it is taken as a given that underage use of alcoholic beverages would be protected by Virginia’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) if there was ever an arrest based on such use.  We’ll talk more about that, in a second.

Because of Federal pressure, virtually every state in the union has a rule against the use of alcohol by persons under twenty one, and yet no one gets arrested for drinking alcohol in church in the context of communion.  I imagine if you dig into it, you will find a patchwork of approaches to this question in the different states.  In some states, they probably explicitly make an exception covering this kind of sacramental use.  In other states, the courts have probably explicitly carved out an exception.  In some states their RFRA probably does the work for them.  And in others, everyone probably just agrees as a matter of policy to look the other way.

Still, I am willing to bet that not once in America’s 200+ year history has a single person ever been arrested for illegal consumption of alcohol—or illegally giving it to people who can’t legally consume it—in relation to ordinary communion, drunk in very small doses.  For instance, even during the Prohibition Era, the Volstead Act (which enforced the Eighteenth Amendment) had an exception carved out for communion.

On the other hand, as of 1990, when the case of Employment Division v. Smith was heard, there was no such exception for the sacramental use of peyote found in Oregon law.  So, Justice Scalia reasoned in his majority opinion, the First Amendment carved out no such exception.  So those adhering to those religions that believe that spiritual enlightenment can only be obtained by taking the drug are subjected to the whim of a majority.

I will not use this space to retell how this decision—which tossed aside previous protections for religious practice—shocked the Congress into passing the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act damn near unanimously, or how the Supreme Court said that the law could only apply to Congressional laws and not to state laws.  That is, the Supreme Court said that the federal government could pass a law creating religious exceptions to federal laws, but not state laws.  I won’t go deep into how the Supreme Court invited states to pass their own RFRAs.  Nor will I go into detail about how many states did just that, while others already had constitutional provisions interpreted in a similar fashion.  Gabriel Malor did such a good job in the Federalist there is no point in repeating his points.

But what I want to highlight is the difference in treatment between these who believed in the sacramental use of wine and those who believed in the sacramental use of peyote.  Now, obviously the two drugs are not the same.  According to Encyclopedia Britannica:

The term peyote derives from the Nahuatl name peyotl for a cactus. The tops of the plants contain mescaline, an alkaloid drug that has hallucinogenic effects.

Yeah, so you are taking mescaline and hallucinating, so you will have visions and so on.  While alcohol is a drug and all that, a sip of communion wine is not likely to have any noticeable effect.  So the two are not the same, in terms of the effect of the drug, or how it is used sacramentally.  And yet they seem to be similarly important to both religions, peyote being reportedly central to ceremonies and to the point that the religion involving the use of it is often called, according to the same Encyclopedia, “peyotism.”  Meanwhile, for many Christians drinking alcohol is necessary to be in touch with Jesus.

Both are so central to their respective religious that if the use of the sacramental drug is banned in a certain area, one can easily imagine many otherwise law-abiding people taking extreme measures a result.  What kind of extreme measures?  Well, they might literally leave the jurisdiction where it is prohibited, or they might break the law.  I suppose some people might get so worked up about that to resort to violence.  But regardless there would be a large number of people who couldn’t accept the prohibition.

And yet I doubt if any communion-wine-drinking Christian has even the slightest worry about facing such a dilemma.  I doubt any Catholic wakes in a sweat at night worried that they will be legally barred from taking communion with wine.  On the other hand, there have been many times where peyote has been prohibited without a sacramental exception.

Let’s talk about another religious exception to the law.  If I go and tell my best friend that I committed a murder, that person can tell the police and can even testify against me, unless my relationship with that person falls into a number of special categories.  For instance, if my best friend happened to be a lawyer.  Or my “best friend” is my wife.  Or for that matter, if my best friend is a catholic priest and I am engaged in confession.  The rule in relationship to lawyers is to allow a person to speak with a lawyer confidentially and frankly, so you can get good legal advice.  The rule in relationship to spouses is because we believe that being honest with the one you love helps to strengthen a relationship.  And the purpose of the rule in relation to priests, is to improve your relationship with God.

Consider how important the interest is, that this priest-penitent privilege is weighed against.  The Sixth Amendment states that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right... to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor[.]”  That is, if you are accused of a crime, you are allowed to call witnesses in your favor and force them to testify if need be, with few exceptions.  And yet this priest-penitent privilege means, for instance, that innocent people might be convicted as a result.  That is, that an innocent man could be charged with a crime, a priest could have received a confession from the actual murderer, but that priest would not be able to breach the confidentiality of confession in order to exonerate the innocent man.  Literally the law has said that even the risk of executing an innocent man is not as important as this privilege, even in abrogation of the Sixth Amendment’s compulsory process clause.

And while this exception is not limited to the denominations of the Christian faith that engage in confession, is there any doubt that it was inspired by that?

You see, if you read that Malor piece you would know that Religious Freedom Restoration Acts are fundamentally about accommodating faith.  They almost always follow a two-step inquiry.  First, you have to show that a law substantially burdens a sincerely held article of faith.  And even then, that doesn’t mean you automatically win: the government can win if they demonstrate that it is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling purpose.

So let’s apply it to a number of scenarios.  For instance a woman dressed in normal western attire comes into a restaurant run by Muslims who believe that women should not appear in public except in a veil.  Now you can argue that the actual origins of this is cultural rather than religion, but the courts are going to ask “does this person think Allah is making this command?”  So long as the court doesn’t detect bullsh-t, they will believe it is a sincerely held belief.  But does it substantially impact their belief?  Probably not.  It is one thing to say that you believe women should do something, it is another to say you can’t cope with a woman refusing to do so, especially given the fact that such people have to mix with society on a daily basis.

Let’s try another scenario.  A veil-wearing Muslim woman wants to get a driver’s license and wants to take a photo ID wearing a veil that pretty much covers her face.  Well, obviously, that defeats pretty much the entire purpose of taking the photo.  So can the state insist that she take it off as a requirement for getting a driver’s license.  Again, I will assume she thinks that Allah has said that a woman shouldn’t show her face to anyone besides her family and her husband, and that does seem like a substantial burden.  But the importance of having definite ID seems compelling to me, so while it is close I don’t think that the exception would apply.

Let’s try a third scenario.  A person belongs to a religion that believes in human sacrifice.  Well, that is easy: even if you assume it is a sincerely held belief and it is a substantial burden, the rule against murder will always be found to be compelling.  This is true even if the sacrifice consents.

Or let’s try another.  A gay couple walks into a McDonald’s, and the individual franchise owner happens to disapprove of homosexuality.  The couple engages in sufficient public displays of affection to leave little doubt of their orientation, so the owner refuses them service.  Again, like the Muslim restaurant owner who claims he can’t stand to see women be uncovered, he will have a hard time explaining why this substantially burdens his faith in the first place.  And in any case, the principle of equal treatment is likely to be compelling.  And yes, that applies to someone who dislikes black people sitting at lunch counters, as in we are not going to go back to people refusing to serve black people.

RFRA Infographic
(embiggen as necessary)
Or take a different scenario: a wedding photographer refuses to serve at a gay wedding.  This is more likely to be seen as a substantial burden because it is the participation in a wedding, and it might be less likely to be seen as a compelling purpose.  Indeed as I noted previously, there seems to be a coerced expression problem in this case, suggesting that it might be unconstitutional under the ordinary free speech clause of the First Amendment, without relying on the provisions relating to Freedom of Religion.

But even then, the potential for victory, here is theoretical only.  So far that scenario has never played out that way.  For instance in New Mexico a photographer was forced to attend a gay committment ceremony (this was before gay marriage was legal there) in spite of their RFRA.  You can read that case, here.

Indeed, this chart from the Federalist does a good job laying out how the law actually works (right).

The point of these scenarios is to point out the hysterics simply don’t relate to what these laws actually say.  People say, “then that means they can get out of any law they don’t like.”  Well, no, because “don’t like” is not the legal standard, and not every law will be vulnerable to this kind of attack.  As a general rule of thumb I would tend to think that laws involving malum in se—laws that prohibit conduct seen as inherently wrong such as murder, rape, or just plain discrimination—will not generally be subject to serious challenge while malum prohibitum—stuff that is not inherently wrong, but shouldn’t be done because the law prohibits it—are less secure.  The difference pretty badly explained in the movie Legally Blond:

(It’s a good movie, but not for its depiction of the law or law school.)  There is a lot of nuance between that proposed rule of thumb I described and what the reality will look like.  But I think over time that prediction will be generally right.

And for those going into hysterics that people might not be forced to obey otherwise generally applicable laws that substantially burden religious faith, here’s the thing: we already do that, and we do it all the time.  Laws prohibiting kids from drinking alcohol will always have a sacramental exception, either de jure or de facto.*  That is either in the law, or just as a matter of reality because the cops look the other way.  And the interest of convicting the guilty and acquitting the innocent gives way to the importance of faith in relation to the priest-penitent privilege.  Likewise, Quakers were regularly exempted from fighting in the military due to their faith, Jews are allowed to wear Yarmulkes, and so on.

The reality is that the mainstream faiths, broadly defined, will always be accommodated.  It’s not a simple matter of majority rules.  For instance, I don’t believe the majority of Christians drink sacramental wine in communion, go to confession, or object to all violence.  It’s a matter of obtaining the sympathy of the majority, leading people to demand that lawmakers and those who enforce the laws to “lighten up” a little.  So the Supreme Court says in Goldman v. Weinberger that Jews are not entitled to wear yarmulkes in the military, even though it would effectively force thousands of Jews to leave, and Congress shortly thereafter passes a legislative fix allowing for reasonable displays of religious faith.  Why?  Because the commonality of the Christian faith and Jewish faith—sharing about half the Bible—combined with the wounds of the holocaust means that the average Christian is deeply troubled if our military makes it impossible for large numbers of Jews to serve.  It’s not quite “no Jews allowed” but it too close for comfort for most Americans, so the idea of lightening up a little and finding some kind of accommodation is popular enough to have allowed for a legislative fix.

Or take the example of conscientious objectors.  Most Christians are not complete pacifists, but we recognize that certain things Christ said could be interpreted that way—such as talking about turning the other cheek, or that those who live by the sword die by the sword.  We by and large don’t agree that this was a command to be complete pacifists, but we recognize that one can respectfully disagree with those who believe that.  So that opened the door to mainstream Christians sympathizing with religious pacifism generally and thus applying it even to more dubious examples, such as when Mohammed Ali refused to go to Vietnam (dubious because his objections seem to be more about his political views than his faith).  While conscientious objectors can hail from any faith tradition (except disbelief), the traditional rule is rooted in Christians sympathizing with other Christians who are pacifists.

So we have had piecemeal “restorations” of religious freedom since the beginning of the republic.  And the name of the game has always been: get the mainstream Christians’ sympathy.  Why?  Because even today the vast majority of Americans are Christian.

And the flip side of that, the dark side of that, is that the less Christians can sympathize with your religion, the less willing we are to pass these piecemeal accommodations of your faith.  So the more “exotic,” “silly,” or even “heretical” your faith is, the less likely it will be that the lawmakers voted in by this largely Christian populace will be interested in accommodating it.

So is the reason why we accommodated sacramental use of wine all these years but not peyote, because we had a rational weighing of the importance of banning these drugs verses respect for freedom of religious practice and the two questions just came out differently?  Well, since the two cases are not identical, it is wholly possible.  A person can have every sympathy for the peyotists but still decide that the drug is simply too dangerous to allow for a sacramental exception, while believing that alcohol, as used in Christian communion is safe all while having no more or less sympathy for Christianity.  But the reasonable fear is that to the average American, getting high and having visions in a teepee is just a little too exotic for them to put themselves in the peyotists’ shoes.  The fear is that they make exceptions for wine they don’t make for peyote, because they sympathize more with Christians.

This seems to have been a major theme in the case of Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah.  In that case a Santeria church sought to open a branch in Hialeah, Florida.  Santeria, you may or may not know, involves animal sacrifice.  So the leaders of that city freaked out and quickly passed laws making it criminal “to unnecessarily kill, torment, torture, or mutilate an animal in a public or private ritual or ceremony not for the primary purpose of food consumption” as well as related crimes like keeping such animals for that purpose.  The Supreme Court struck those laws so hard, they were last seen flying past Jupiter.

We can get into the case’s reasoning.  One interesting wrinkle is that this came after Smith, but the obvious difference is that it was clear that the law was not a rule of general application, but one aimed specifically at religious conduct and that made it unconstitutional.  The way to understand this point is as follows.  It is unconstitutional to pass a law saying, “it is illegal to burn a flag.”  But on the other hand, an ordinance prohibiting unnecessary burning that therefore makes it illegal to burn a flag would probably still pass muster.  Anyway, the Hilaleah case really is kind of an obvious thing: you can’t ban a ritual just because you don’t like it.  I am surprised the Supreme Court didn’t add the word “duh,” somewhere in the opinion.

Still the case interacts with my “majority sympathy” theory of religious accommodation.  It starts by pretty much calling out the community of Hialeah for its lack of sympathy:

Our review confirms that the laws in question were enacted by officials who did not understand, failed to perceive, or chose to ignore the fact that their official actions violated the Nation's essential commitment to religious freedom. The challenged laws had an impermissible object; and in all events the principle of general applicability was violated because the secular ends asserted in defense of the laws were pursued only with respect to conduct motivated by religious beliefs.

Or, in short, “you bigoted a______s!”  To say that the Supreme Court took the city of Hialeah to the woodshed would be an understatement.

But here’s the other interesting thing.  In his opinion, Justice Kennedy provides a brief education about what Santeria is and it’s worth quoting extensively from it so you can see what he is doing:

This case involves practices of the Santeria religion, which originated in the 19th century. When hundreds of thousands of members of the Yoruba people were brought as slaves from western Africa to Cuba, their traditional African religion absorbed significant elements of Roman Catholicism. The resulting syncretion, or fusion, is Santeria, "the way of the saints." The Cuban Yoruba express their devotion to spirits, called orishas, through the iconography of Catholic saints, Catholic symbols are often present at Santeria rites, and Santeria devotees attend the Catholic sacraments....

The Santeria faith teaches that every individual has a destiny from God, a destiny fulfilled with the aid and energy of the or is has. The basis of the Santeria religion is the nurture of a personal relation with the or is has, and one of the principal forms of devotion is an animal sacrifice.... The sacrifice of animals as part of religious rituals has ancient roots.... Animal sacrifice is mentioned throughout the Old Testament..., and it played an important role in the practice of Judaism before destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem.... In modern Islam, there is an annual sacrifice commemorating Abraham's sacrifice of a ram in the stead of his son....

According to Santeria teaching, the or is has are powerful but not immortal. They depend for survival on the sacrifice. Sacrifices are performed at birth, marriage, and death rites, for the cure of the sick, for the initiation of new members and priests, and during an annual celebration. Animals sacrificed in Santeria rituals include chickens, pigeons, doves, ducks, guinea pigs, goats, sheep, and turtles. The animals are killed by the cutting of the carotid arteries in the neck. The sacrificed animal is cooked and eaten, except after healing and death rituals....

Santeria adherents faced widespread persecution in Cuba, so the religion and its rituals were practiced in secret. The open practice of Santeria and its rites remains infrequent.... The religion was brought to this Nation most often by exiles from the Cuban revolution. The District Court estimated that there are at least 50,000 practitioners in South Florida today....

(Citations omitted).  Notice how Kennedy really goes out of his way to make the religion seem less exotic and more ordinary.  He explains that it really has roots in Catholicism, and that, hey, there is a lot about animal sacrifice in the bible.  And most tellingly, he points out that it was persecuted in Cuba, as in “those Godless Commie bastards suppress it, so it can’t be all bad, right?”  I have argued before that Justice Kennedy is strongly attuned to public acceptance, and so it appears he was trying to make this outcome more acceptable to the public, by trying to make Santeria seem less exotic.

But, logically, we shouldn’t care how exotic or strange a religion is.  A religion, like any other matrix of ideas, is not stripped of protection because it is dumb.  As far as I am concerned, Santeria is the bastard child of Catholicism and, more or less, voodoo, and a step backward into primitive practices that most modern religions have largely left behind and... deserved to be completely and equally protected in the law.  Voltaire is credited with saying, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”  Well, I would say roughly the same about one’s religion, even if I think a religion “is one of the less plausible answers to the great questions in life.”  I don’t have to like or respect your religion, to tolerate it.

So the bottom line is that we have always had accommodation of religion, exceptions made to general laws that protected important religious interests.  But the problem is that it was piecemeal and largely legislative, giving rise to a concern that perhaps it was not truly fair.

So in a real way, these RFRAs represent a decision by our representatives to delegate this accommodation that has always happened, to the courts.  These statutes empower the courts to carve out these exceptions, and it seems implicit in all of that, that we are doing this in the hopes that they might be fairer than doing so by popular legislation.  And that in turn means that the sillier or more exotic faiths—religions less likely to garnish widespread support from the majority of Americans—is more likely to be accommodated if they deserve it.  Of course, judges are just as human as anyone and so they won’t be perfectly fair, but the hope is that they will be fairer.  Justice isn’t blind, but I think judges strive to reach that ideal.

On the other hand, if we abolished the RFRA in the Federal Government and in all of the states, the religions that can garnish the sympathies of the majority more easily will continue to be accommodated.  For instance, you didn’t need the Supreme Court to strike down attempts to force Hobby Lobby to pay for abortifacient medicine.  Inevitably, an exception would have been carved out of the law, not because everyone agrees with Hobby Lobby’s objections but because the average Christian has sympathy with the idea that we shouldn’t be forcing people who think abortion is murder to participate in it.  And regardless of the liberal freak-out at the moment, I think over time people will decide it is wrong to force objecting photographer to photograph a wedding since it is equivalent to forcing participation in that wedding.  And besides, the whole thing is silly.

First, could there be a more “first world problem” than worrying about a luxury in a wedding?  Yes, a fancy wedding cake, a photographer, and so on are luxuries and any Bridezillas out there seem to be missing the point.  I have long joked that having a successful wedding is like successfully landing an airplane: any wedding you walk away from as a married couple is a good one.  I remember my wedding day not as the day with pretty flowers and I have no idea what I was even served at the reception.  I remember my wedding as the day my wife and I committed to spend the rest of our lives together.  Everything else is gravy.  I have seen weddings in churches so small it could only seat forty people and photographed by regular people in the family while the reception involved a little cheap wine, some music played on a portable stereo as well as played live by the groom, and a wedding cake that looked like it had been bought at a supermarket—literally a supermarket birthday cake without the birthday decorations.  But they went in as two people and left as one, and they are still together and have no regrets.  That’s all you really need and any more than that is a very dubious use of money in the first place.  Yes, ideally even luxuries should be provided on an equal basis, but even in the extremely rare circumstance where there is only one baker in town and he won’t bake your wedding cake, you can still get married.

And it just seems like a bad idea to use coercion in relation to something as important as your wedding.  If someone doesn’t like the person they are serving, the service can, um...  suffer:

Humor aside, this is not entirely an academic issue for me.  I am in an interracial marriage.  My wife is Filipino, and I am white, for the record.  Let me say that if any person objected to my marriage, the last thing I would have said was “great, now let me force you to photograph it against your will!”  Suppose you have your wedding, you coerce a photographer to participate and s/he does a terrible job.  Sure, you could sue, and maybe you would even be successful if the jury thinks it was done on purpose, but your wedding pictures are still ruined.  No amount of money is going to fix that.  The same applies to cakes, flower arrangements, and so on; they can still harm your enjoyment of what is supposed to be a joyful day and there is no amount of money that will make up for that.  So why not simply find someone who doesn’t object in the first place?

But if you destroy the RFRAs, on the other hand, the next time a law of general application steps on a religion seen by the public as exotic, repugnant, or just plain silly will have little hope of getting the kind of accommodations that, say, the Catholic church gets on a regular basis.  That might not be unconstitutional, but it also isn’t particularly fair.  And in all frankness it seems more than a little selfish of gay advocates to seek to destroy that protection for non-mainstream faith, in order to force a person to participate in their weddings.

And boycotting?  It is legal, but there seems to a problem in terms of logical consistency:

Sidebar: is it possible that the perception of the RFRA as a minority right is part of the freak-out, too?  It is common to describe certain laws and constitutional protections as “minority” protections.  Let’s take the Free Speech clause.  The argument goes like this.  There is no way Congress is ever going to pass a law saying it is criminal to say, “America is awesome.”  So you don’t need the Free Speech Clause to protect speech the majority likes, you need it to protect the speech the majority dislikes, i.e. the views of the minority.

That is true as far as it goes, but the mistake I see the left making all the time is thinking that then only the minority viewpoint, religion, race, etc. is protected.  As a rule, this laws or constitutional provisions are neutral.  That is, it is as much a violation of the First Amendment to outlaw praise for America, as it is to outlaw criticism of America.  There is some room, perhaps, for some minor exceptions to that neutrality: affirmative action is a good example, although it remains controversial.  But for instance, outside of affirmative action, it is as much illegal to make a state school all female as it is to make one all male.

So the RFRA movement started in 1993.  At that time, there was no such thing as Obamacare, and gay rights barely existed.  I mean, at that time, states were still allowed to outlaw gay sex.  And the left loved the RFRA, until suddenly they saw Christians benefitting from it.  Oh no, their dream of forcing everyone to buy abortions for others has hit a snag!  This dang law is stopping it!  It must be a conservative conspiracy!  And now they have seized on the mere fear that the RFRAs will roll back gay rights, even in states where gay rights, for all practical purposes, don’t exist.  As I previously noted during the last RFRA freak-out over a proposed Arizona RFRA, there were no statewide gay rights laws to abrogate in Arizona.  There are some employment discrimination laws in Indiana, but the fear that people could refuse to do business with customers who happened to be gay?  It could happen even before the RFRA was passed, because there were no laws prohibiting such discrimination in the first place.

So maybe at the root of all this was the sense of betrayal as the left saw a law that only supposedly protected “minority” religions suddenly protected...  gasp...  Christians.  Because they failed to grasp that the law was actually neutral among all faiths, this seemed like a betrayal, leading to their sudden hatred of a law that originally had near-unanimous bi-partisan support.

By the way, liberals if you want to see who is to blame for this polarization look in the mirror.  Conservatives didn’t change their minds on RFRAs.  You are mad at conservatives for agreeing with what you used to say.


* De jure means by law, including common “decisional” law.  De facto means in fact.  So, for instance, de jure racial segregation is where the law demands that the races are kept separate—such laws have been declared unconstitutional and are therefore a dead letter where they even exist on the books.  By comparison, when something is segregated wholly because of the private choices of individuals, that is seen as de facto segregation.  Or to pick a less charged example, the speed limit on a highway might be de jure 55 mph, but in most places the cops won’t pull you over unless you are driving at more than five miles over the speed limit, so that in those places the de facto speed limit for a highway is 60 mph (although you drive even a mile over the speed limit at your obvious legal peril).


My wife and I have lost our jobs due to the harassment of convicted terrorist (and adjudicated pedophile) Brett Kimberlin, including an attempt to get us killed and to frame me for a crime carrying a sentence of up to ten years.  I know that claim sounds fantastic, but if you read starting here, you will see absolute proof of these claims using documentary and video evidence.  If you would like to help in the fight to hold Mr. Kimberlin accountable, please hit the donation link on the right.  And thank you.

Follow me at Twitter @aaronworthing, mostly for snark and site updates.  And you can purchase my book (or borrow it for free if you have Amazon Prime), Archangel: A Novel of Alternate, Recent History here.  And you can read a little more about my novel, here.



I have accused some people, particularly Brett Kimberlin, of reprehensible conduct.  In some cases, the conduct is even criminal.  In all cases, the only justice I want is through the appropriate legal process—such as the criminal justice system.  I do not want to see vigilante violence against any person or any threat of such violence.  This kind of conduct is not only morally wrong, but it is counter-productive.

In the particular case of Brett Kimberlin, I do not want you to even contact him.  Do not call him.  Do not write him a letter.  Do not write him an email.  Do not text-message him.  Do not engage in any kind of directed communication.  I say this in part because under Maryland law, that can quickly become harassment and I don’t want that to happen to him.

And for that matter, don’t go on his property.  Don’t sneak around and try to photograph him.  Frankly try not to even be within his field of vision.  Your behavior could quickly cross the line into harassment in that way too (not to mention trespass and other concerns).

And do not contact his organizations, either.  And most of all, leave his family alone.

The only exception to all that is that if you are reporting on this, there is of course nothing wrong with contacting him for things like his official response to any stories you might report.  And even then if he tells you to stop contacting him, obey that request.  That this is a key element in making out a harassment claim under Maryland law—that a person asks you to stop and you refuse.

And let me say something else.  In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe that any person supporting me has done any of the above.  But if any of you have, stop it, and if you haven’t don’t start.

1 comment:

  1. Freedom of association is derived from freedom of speech.
    The remedy for bad speech is more speech.

    When Jews were not permitted to join the wealthy golf-playing country clubs of the day, they started their own damn country clubs that admitted Jews and made them better. And guess what? Some of the old country clubs went out of business, some started admitting Jews, and some remain closed to this day.