Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New, Corporate Free State Project Begins Cleaning House

Poor Ian Freeman.

Ian moved to NH in 2006, as part of the Free State Project. He bought a house and set up a studio for his radio show. In no time at all, he became the leader of the subset of the Free State Project cult, known as Free Keene.

He's relentlessly shilled for Free Keene and the Free State Project. He's also been a big embarrassment to the FSP. Any time there was an obnoxious story in the news about the FSP, it originated in Keene. The Free Keeners did a lot of embarrassing stuff. They drew penises on the sidewalks of Keene with chalk. They vandalized the war memorial. They pranced around with cameras, harassing meter readers. They smoked pot in the park every day at 4:20. SO edgy. They had topless protests. They were people with no visible means of support, who fed parking meters downtown and called their activism "work." Some of them kept getting arrested.

They weren't a good image. And Ian - well Ian's image was pretty tarnished. In 2010, on his radio show, he espoused the opinion that there doesn't need to be an age of consent for adults wanting to have sex with children.

There were grumblings about that over the years. I grumbled about it, here at my blog, in 2014.

Then came Kyle Tasker.  State Representative Kyle Tasker was arrested when he went to the meeting place he'd arranged over Facebook, for the purposes of having sex with a 14 year old girl.

Suddenly, sex with children is a topic of discussion in the state of NH. One of the first people to defend Kyle Tasker was Ian Freeman.  And again.

Ian wasn't the only Free Stater to defend Tasker in public. State Representative Max Abramson was quite vocal on social media and in the comment section at the Union Leader.

Meanwhile, the Free State Project has undergone a transformation. They're now officially a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. They were promoting a campaign for the last few years to "trigger the move." When the FSP reached the magic number of 20,000 signers, the trigger would be pulled (an apt analogy for the armed miscreants) and just like that they would suddenly appear.

The Free State Project began in 2001, when Jason Sorens wrote a rant about gathering like minded individuals to move to a state, take over and dismantle the government, then threaten to secede from the rest of the nation.  In 2001 they voted to move to NH.

Since then, the goalposts have shifted numerous times. They were all supposed to be here in 2006. Then they were all supposed to be here by 2010. It's 2016, and there are still fewer  than 2,000 of them here.

But, Trigger the Move was good PR. They got tons of publicity, and one thing Free Staters love is publicity. Even the mainstream media began showing up at their big events like Porcfest and Liberty Forum. President Carla Gericke was a relentless media hound. She sued the town of Weare. She shrieked and sobbed at the City of Concord when they wanted to buy a Bearcat armored vehicle. She was a necessary figurehead for the FSP, given that libertarian groups are populated by mostly men, and those men are of a somewhat misogynistic persuasion. Having a very visible female figure at the helm was a way of eliminating the discussion of libertarian misogyny.

Carla Gericke, former FSP President 

The move was triggered. And suddenly everything changed. Carla was kicked upstairs, and given a position on the board. Her image wasn't right for the new improved FSP. Millionaire businessman and NH-come-lately, Matt Phillips is the new president of the FSP. He moved to NH in 2014. Matt was an intern at the CATO Institute with Jason Sorens. The Koch funded CATO institute. Also on the board are Aaron Day - an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, businessman Rich Goldman, scientist and management consultant Séamas Ó Scalaidhe, and Jason Sorens who is currently on faculty at Dartmouth. He moved to NH in 2013. There are two women on the board: Carla Gericke and Jody Underwood. Mrs. Underwood is a farmer in Croyden, and likes to dance! Carla likes cooking, hiking, and yoga! 

It seems that the FSP is triggering an entirely different sort of move - a move away from scruffy potheads and sidewalk chalkers - a move toward business suit wearing legitimacy. They don't want to be labeled as "fringe" or "cult" any longer. Nope, they're going full on libertarian corporate. The irony is delicious. 

Carla Gericke, Jason Sorens, and Matt Phillips 

Back to Ian Freeman. Adult men advocating sex with children is not respectable or legitimate. The reaction to Kyle Tasker's attempts to solicit sex with 14 year old girls horrified most residents of our state. It happened at the same time the FSP is making their bid toward becoming FSP Inc. Ian's been an embarrassment for years, and suddenly, they have the means to ditch him. The FSP announced that they were severing ties with Ian's media empire, and that he was not welcome to appear at FSP events. He resigned from the FSP shortly thereafter. And right after all that, the FBI raided the Church of the Free Load and took a boatload of computers and electronic devices.  The new story in the media is that Ian was expelled from the FSP, just as his buddy Chris Cantwell was expelled a few years ago. Both of them were victims of political expedience. Cantwell started making noise about how he thought killing police officers was a wonderful thing at the very same time Carla Gericke started shrieking in public about the Concord Bearcat. The Concord police chief called the FSP potential domestic terrorists on his application. The LAST thing they needed was for the media to discover that Cantwell was proving the chief right. So, they made a big public show of expelling him. Ian became a liability long ago - he just provided the FSP with an opportunity at exactly the right time, thanks to Kyle Tasker. I suspect we'll see more FSP house cleaning in the weeks and months ahead. 

I can't help but feel badly for Ian. He's worked hard to put the FSP on the map for the last 10 years. He's been used and very publicly
cast aside by the very people he worked with and trusted. 


nelle said...

I listened to a couple of minutes of his rant on kids can decide for themselves nonsense. It's vile. It's disgusting. It's outrageous. He has no clue (or rather chooses not to have a clue) about the dynamics of imposed power and how that can manifest in sexual ways (read as rape.)

Go ahead, FSP, create a veneer of legitimacy. It won't hide its underlying quest for anarchic conditions. One can't help but wonder how the Koch Bros and their ilk would react if the absence of law started costing them profit.

Artemisia said...

When you create a community of people who do not "play well with others," what could possibly go wrong? And now they have "tax status." Do they realize how many federal income tax cheats they have attracted to their cult? Corral them in shooting fish in a barrel. Do I need to buy stock in Orville Redenbacher??

Unknown said...

Ian at the ripe ole age of 10 was performing oral sex on his 16 yr old neighbor boy in trade for video games. He is very vocal and proud to say he was old enough to consent.


If there could be an example of journalistic excellence columnist Susan The Bruce this serves as a muckraking stunning example.

All the issues that exist in New Hampshire and this is your focus.

Your devoted column readers are deserving of what they are getting which is nothing.

susanthe said...

Thanks, Steven J. KKKonnolly - and thank you for forgoing your usual quote from one of the Nazis you are so excited by. Since we both know it's you, there's really little point in trying to be 'anonymous.' I'd recognize that poor sentence structure and pitiful punctuation anywhere.

It must be so annoying that you don't get to dictate to me what I choose to write about. It is funny though, that you think it's an option. Perhaps you should stop listening to that penis between your ears.

Tammy said...


Rich Paul said...

The Penises that were chalked in downtown Keene were chalked by Stop Free Keene members in order to frame the Free Keene chalkers. Please do not perpetuate the lies of your allies.

susanthe said...

Of course they were! And how convenient that there is no proof of your assertions.

Steven Graves said...

Thank You
Pfffft is right.
Susan, this is great and I appreciate you shedding light on the FSP.

Junior Mints said...

I am glad to find your blog. Why doesn't the press talk about the fact that FSP and CopBlock is Koch backed. FSP was launched in the AEI pressroom in DC. Corporatocracy is the goal with the paymasters who pull the strings on these faux grass roots organizations. This has nothing to do with libertarianism that someone like Noam Chomsky would describe himself.

There will be no freedom and liberty for many people who will live in this dystopian hellhole: people like women, the poor, the people of color, immigrants, ethnic and religious minorities, and LBGTQ. It will be a bought and paid paradise for upper class white men who can be excused of any and all malfeasance.

I hope my fellow NH residents will wake up, vote these shills out of office and drive them out of NH. We did our own thing to live and let live but we didn't do enough to participate in civic life. Thus our legislature is chuck-full of RW extremists. Let's get activated, let's get involved. Let's build the society and its structures to what we want and need, for everybody. Not for a bunch of billionaires in Wichita Kansas.

FSP has dragged in criminals, rapists (allegedly), killers, and religious extremists. Its damaged the image of New Hampshire as a whole as a place almost as desirable to live as Somalia. I completely agree that this purging of FK from the ranks is corporate cleaning house. The paymasters need to rebrand their opaque operation in order to carry on the mission.

Confronting these folks (I cornered Joy Underwood in an online forum) led to the flying monkeys descend and hound me online to the point i got afraid they would find where i lived and make my life miserable. i have heard it done to others. They are worse than spawned Scientologists. I see them attaching you in your comment section - the gas lighting, the insults, the veiled threats. Their behavior should be a huge warning sign that the media seem to ignore. Cults behave this way. So basically Koch brothers are trying that angle again after the tea party 'movement' is crashing and burning.

Much Respect. Thanks for reading my very long post. said...

I bet Rich Paul thinks we sneak up on him while he's in the shower a la Norman Bates.

Just kidding. Everyone knows Rich Paul doesn't shower.

Junior Mints said...

I forgot to mention that i saw online the dirtbag James O'Keefe is doing smear campaigns on NH DEMs on behalf of FSP. I make that accusation and connection after seeing how he's been invited to speak at their events on the topic of 'journalism'. When the FSP chooses to associate with breitbart tools, that also needs to be a big-red-flag to the media.

Junior Mints said...

Sorry Susan for all the multiple posts today. Another point i forgot to mention: Ian Bernard is still very much in touch with that disgusting misogynist and violent Chris Cantwell. So i hope all know that i, in no way, feel any sympathy to Ian Bernard nor his faux tax dodge called her church. I feel bad for my friends in Keene for having to dealing their nonsense.

Paul Hassler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.