Suspects in West Memphis shootings part of anti-government movement

Joe Kane, Jerry Kane (Source: YouTube)
Joe Kane, Jerry Kane (Source: YouTube)

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC-TV) - A father and son accused of killing two police officers before dying in a shootout last week in West Memphis were part of an anti-government movement.

The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks extremist groups, released a report Friday on Jerry Kane.  The ADL report says Jerry Kane was a "guru" of the Sovereign Citizen Movement, specializing in the group's "Redemption" theory, holding seminars with his son to show people how to use pseudo-legal techniques to get out of their mortgages.

Kane can be seen teaching one of his seminars on how to convolute the legal system to get out of paying a mortgage in a video posted to YouTube.

"First thing you do is apologize. 'Sorry, I made a mistake,'" he says in the video.

The conspiracy theorist taught "Redemption Foreclosure Mortgage Fraud" classes around the nation with his son Joseph at his side.  The nature of Kane's classes fall right in line with the Sovereign Citizen Movement.  According to the Anti-defamation League, it's "a right-wing anarchist ideology" that all government is illegitimate and therefore doesn't exist.

Kane refused to carry a drivers license.

"If somebody tells you, 'I don't know what you're talking about, I've never seen this before,' say, 'I believe you. Get your boss on the phone,'" Kane says in the video.

Kane was a "guru" in the movement that follows the "Patriot" theory of Redemption.  Followers of the Patriot theory believe the government secretly created an economic value for every U.S. Citizen, and that the economic value is being sold as bonds.  They believe every citizen has the right to cash in or "redeem" those bonds, and gain their sovereignty, or freedom, from the government.

"They're going to try to knock you off your pedestal every single time, because they do not want the slaves leaving the plantation," Kane says in the video.

Kane had a home in Ohio - a hot-bed for the Sovereign Citizen Movement. At one point, he was arrested there for shooting a 13-year-old boy on his porch in a fit of rage. DMV records show Kane's white minivan was registered to the House of God's Prayer Church, which once housed the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations Ohio headquarters.  The white power group previously plotted to overthrow the government.

Kane's common law wife told reporters he became disenchanted with government after his baby died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and the hospital performed an autopsy against his wishes.  Since then, he's had a string of run-ins with the law, this last one ending in his death.

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