Joe Banister Story in Los Angeles Times
As seminar crowds go, the one at the hotel in Irvine was eclectic. Longhaired men in suits and women in flowing dresses jostled with elderly people in wheelchairs and walkers as they sampled organic foods and anti-tax paraphernalia.
But they were united as they scrambled for their seats when a slim, dark-haired accountant named Joe Banister got up to speak at the Health and Freedom Rally.
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Editorial Control: When Mainstream News Becomes State Propaganda
From : Automailer - freedomabovefortune.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Reply-To : Joseph Banister - FAF email@example.com
Sent : Sunday, April 11, 2004 3:29 AM
To : Doug Kenline firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject : Editorial Control: When Mainstream News Becomes State Propaganda
Editorial Control: When Mainstream News Becomes State Propaganda
Many of you may not be aware that in addition to battling against the “IRS LOCK
OUT”, I have been bombarded with interview requests. One of those interview
requests came from a Los Angeles Times reporter named Kathy Kristoff. She
contacted my attorney Robert Barnes ( www.bernhoftlaw.com ) claiming that she
was following up on a January, 2004 IRS-authored press release, which had lead
the media to believe that I had been “disbarred” from “practice” before the IRS.
Mr. Barnes explained some of the details of my case to Mrs. Kristoff. She
claimed to be unaware of all of the details Mr. Barnes described and based on
the initial information she received from him thought she might do a feature
article on my story. Mrs. Kristoff did end up writing a feature article that
appeared in the April 4th Sunday Los Angeles Times. Unfortunately, it wasn't my
story at all.
Apparently, the tentacles of the federal government reach far. Their need to
discredit and silence me grows and grows. As they witness the generous and
growing support for my efforts to expose the IRS for what it truly is, as well
as the persuasive and powerful arguments of my able counsel at the Bernhoft Law
Firm, they fear exposure more and more. Now that I have undergone the interview
process from beginning to end and the Kristoff feature article has been
published, the “invisible hand” of government/media influence (and confluence)
has clearly manifested itself. The manifestation of the influence/confluence
begins with the title of the article, “Ex-IRS Man Declares Himself Tax Exempt”,
which doesn’t even seem to fit the contents of the article.
Interestingly, I asked Mrs. Kristoff if it would be possible to review a draft
of her article prior to it being published. She said that it was the policy of
most well-known newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, not to allow review
of the reporter’s draft before publication. One reason, she said, was that her
article could be reviewed and revised by up to TWELVE different people before it
went to print. Having met Mrs. Kristoff and communicated with her extensively
via email, I can assure you that the TWELVE reviewers weren’t checking her
spelling or grammar. I’d be happy to leave to your imagination why twelve
different L.A. Times employees would have to review/revise an experienced
reporter’s work, but imagination won’t be necessary once I fill you in on the
details of the L.A.Times encounter.
It is now readily apparent that the Kristoff story was edited and reedited to
the point where it bears no resemblance to my “story” and based on the odd title
and flow of the article, perhaps even little resemblance to the article Mrs.
Kristoff submitted to her editors. The reedited story included many outright
lies and excluded many important facts, evidence, interviewees, and, worst of
all, many of the most damning information against the government.
One of the requests I received from Mrs. Kristoff was a list of people who knew
me and would be willing to share their opinion about me. Figuring Mrs. Kristoff
had ready access to the contact information of IRS officials, especially those
responsible for the “IRS LOCKOUT”, I gave her a list of people who knew me well
and had given me their permission to be contacted by her.
For example, I offered her the contact information for my three brothers, one of
whom is a police sergeant, one of whom is a police officer, and one of whom is a
firefighter captain (certainly not fitting the “anti-government” “anti-tax”
label that is thrown around so frequently – as in the Kristoff article). I also
offered the contact information for three people from the Jesuit high school
from which I graduated who were familiar with my efforts ( http://www2.bcp.org/
), Robert Schulz, Chairman of the We The People Foundation for Constitutional
Education ( www.givemeliberty.org ), former IRS Revenue Officer John Turner,
Former IRS Revenue Agent Sherry Jackson, Former IRS Chief Counsel’s Office
Attorney Paul Chappell, presidential candidate Aaron Russo
(http://www.russoforpresident.com/ ), and even my 8th grade teacher whom I have
kept in contact with for nearly 30 years. Attorney Robert Barnes also spent a
great deal of time with Mrs. Kristoff.
After a number of weeks of email and telephone contacts, Mrs. Kristoff said she
wanted to come meet with me in person. She asked that I arrange for some
in-person interviews. She flew up from L.A. and Mr. Barnes and I greeted her
near the airport. Our first stop was to visit with my youngest brother, one of
the two police officers in my immediate family. Mrs. Kristoff interviewed him
for at least 30 minutes if not longer. Will you see a quote from my brother in
the Kristoff article? No, you won’t. Will you see it mentioned that my brother
named me the godfather of his first born daughter because of the pride he felt
for the courage I had exhibited in confronting the IRS about its wrongdoing?
No, you won’t. Will you see it mentioned that many of the officers on my
brother’s force anxiously await updates from him on my efforts and the overall
efforts of the “Tax Honesty Movement”? No, you won’t. Seeing such information
just might lead people to believe that I have the respect of family members who
themselves are respected members of the community. We can’t have that now can
Our next stop was to visit with my 8th grade teacher who has known me for nearly
30 years. Mrs. Kristoff interviewed her for at least 30 minutes. Will you see
a quote from my 8th grade teacher in the Kristoff article? No, you won’t. Will
you see it mentioned that I was elected president of my Catholic elementary
school student body? No, you won’t. Will you see it mentioned that my teacher
is convinced of the sincerity of my efforts and my propensity for honesty and
integrity? No, you won’t. Seeing such information just might lead people to
believe that I have earned the respect of a teacher who has known me since
childhood. We can’t have that now can we?
After we said good-bye to my teacher, Mrs. Kristoff then offered to buy lunch
for me and Mr. Barnes. We spent at least an our at the restaurant and Mr.
Barnes addressed many of the legal questions surrounding not only my IRS battle
but the federal income tax as well. I noticed that Mrs. Kristoff took copious
notes throughout at least half of the luncheon. Will you see a quote from my
attorney Robert Barnes in the Kristoff article? No, you won’t. Seeing such
information just might lead people to believe that there are many in the legal
profession who recognize significant legal problems with administration and
enforcement of the federal income tax. We can’t have that now can we?
After lunch, I invited Mrs. Kristoff and Mr. Barnes to my home in order to
answer more of her questions and show her some of the evidence that I had
accumulated prior to and subsequent to my resignation from the IRS. Will you
see any mention of any of this evidence in the Kristoff article? No, you won’t.
I also shared my IRS employment records indicating my above-average performance,
awards, and promotions. Will you see any mention of any of my exemplary service
at the IRS? No, you won’t. Seeing such information just might lead people to
believe that I was a hard-working, dedicated public servant. We can’t have that
now can we?
Former IRS Revenue Officer John Turner, E.A., and former IRS Revenue Agent
Sherry Jackson, CPA, CFE made numerous attempts to contact Mrs. Kristoff and
make themselves available for an interview to tell her what they thought of me
and my efforts. Will you see any mention of these other former IRS agents who
share my concerns about the illegal activities of the IRS? No, you won’t.
Seeing such information just might lead people to believe that I am not the
“lone ranger” and that there are other credible former IRS personnel that are
blowing the whistle on the IRS and the federal income tax system.
The lies in the article were almost humorous, if one could look past how those
lies would mislead readers of the article. The reedited story claimed I made
bunches of money from selling videos and appearing in public. This is
absolutely false. As anyone who knows me already knows, I have appeared free of
charge at probably six dozen or more events around the country over the last
five years and approximately 150 radio shows and out of all of them, I was only
compensated for one speaking engagement and received donations to subsidize
participation in the Freedom Drive (because of the amount of travel involved and
the length of time I would be away from work).
People who know me know that I’m not looking for a medal, but I have invested
thousands of hours of my time, put my professional reputation at risk, and have
willingly accepted the financial difficulties of abandoning a secure government
paycheck (even though God’s good grace enabled me to eventually recover
financially after quitting my IRS job “cold-turkey”) in order to expose the
results of my investigation to the public. Yes, I have sold videos and books
that not only help me convey my message but help finance the thousands of hours
of time I have devoted to this cause and help defray the significant expenses
(such as fighting the “IRS LOCKOUT”). Will you find any information in the
Kristoff article indicating that I was willing to sacrifice a great deal to blow
the whistle on abuses of the IRS and the federal income tax? No, you won’t.
Seeing such information just might lead people to believe that much was risked
to bring the truth to the public and I might be viewed as an admirable
whistleblower rather than a opportunistic profiteer. We can’t have that now can
Here are some other outright falsehoods that were published in what many
consider (and perhaps erroneously so) a credible news source:
1. Error: "He [Banister] became convinced that the tax laws were
unconstitutional." Fact: I have never said the tax laws are unconstitutional.
I do not believe that. I have never even been accused of holding such a belief
by “IRS LOCKOUT” officials. For the record, I believe that the tax laws as
written by Congress are constitutional but are either misapplied by the IRS or
are administered and enforced beyond the scope of what those constitutional laws
authorize. There is overwhelming evidence to support my position. A small
portion of this evidence was shown to Mrs. Kristoff but no mention of it was
made in the article.
2. Error: "And because the Internal Revenue Service doesn't collect taxes in
person, a legal principle called "voluntary compliance" should, he decided, make
tax payments optional."
Fact: The argument concerning voluntary compliance has nothing to do with
the IRS not collecting taxes "in person." I have never said so. The repeated
use of the word "voluntary" in terms of the income tax lead me to believe that
the government was using that word “voluntary” to evade challenges to the
misapplication of the tax, including 5th amendment challenges to misuse of the
tax forms by the IRS.
3. Error: "The Supreme Court rejected the argument about faulty ratification in
Fact: The Supreme Court has never addressed the issue of faulty
ratification, and definitely not in 1916.
4. Error: "Banister himself was sued in U.S. Tax Court."
Fact: I have never been sued by anyone and have never appeared in a U.S. Tax
Court proceeding. The "Director of Practice" for the IRS has requested the
Secretary of the Treasury prevent me from appearing on behalf of clients before
the IRS. An IRS administrative hearing officer, called an "administrative law
judge," has made an “initial decision” in that matter. (The “sanction
proceeding” phase was convened in a U.S. Tax Court courtroom only after the
administrative law judge was pressured by the public to change his plans to
convene my “sanction proceeding” on an island in San Francisco Bay away from
public view, but the case itself had nothing to do with U.S. Tax Court and no
U.S. Tax Court Judge has heard the case.)
5. Error: "claims that the income tax is illegal have gone nowhere"
Fact: Actually, as the evidence in my case revealed (evidence that the
administrative law judge refused to allow into the “IRS LOCKOUT” case and
evidence that was not mentioned in the Kristoff article), a number of people
were actually awarded refunds based on the same arguments I made on behalf of my
clients. Also, Vernice Kuglin was acquitted on all counts in the criminal
prosecution lodged against her and Lloyd Long was acquitted on all counts in the
criminal prosecution lodged against him (a fact I shared with Mrs. Kristoff when
we met in person but apparently not worthy of publication in the L.A. Times).
Another interesting aspect is the reporting in her article of my appearance at
the Freedom Law School Health and Freedom Rally in Orange County, California on
March 13th. Remember that Mrs. Kristoff had interviewed me and gathered
information about me for weeks prior to the March 13th rally, but she (or her
editors) saw fit to focus on the rally rather than all of the other information
shared with her and ridicule those who attended by insinuating that the audience
was brimming with long-haired men, women with flowing dresses, and escapees from
the “old-folks home” and the “nut-house”. Interestingly, I remember Mrs.
Kristoff wearing what I would describe as a flowing dress when she visited me in
person, but I did not hold it against her.
Still another interesting aspect of Mrs. Kristoff’s article, as mentioned above,
is the absence of any information on Vernice Kuglin, who also spoke at the March
13th rally. Kuglin, an airline pilot for Federal Express, was not only
prosecuted by the IRS for income tax violations and acquitted by a Tennessee
jury on all charges, but Mrs. Kristoff interviewed her at the March 13th rally.
However, Kuglin’s acquittal was mysteriously absent from the Kristoff article.
Seeing such information just might lead people to question how someone could be
acquitted on all income tax charges if the IRS is indeed, operating
legitimately. We can’t have that now can we?
What is new about the Kristoff article is how far the L.A. Times editors will go
to do the government's dirty work for them. The reedited story needed to keep
people from knowing about the successes of the “Tax Honesty” movement in
returning honor and honesty to our government. They feared that if people had
the names of attorneys who fight for people on our side or knew about some of
the successful people who stood up for their rights and won, then the cat would
be out of the bag. So they just pretended those people don't exist and
prevented readers of the L.A. Times from having access to all the facts.
If you would like to review the Kristoff article in the L.A. Times, you should
be able to access it by visiting www.latimes.com and entering “joe banister”
into the website search engine. When you arrive at the appropriate L.A. Times
web page, you will no doubt recognize the hypocrisy of the Kristoff article’s
insinuation that because I have sold books and tapes and am still able to make a
living, my motives must have more to do with profit than principle. You’ll
notice that you must pay the L.A Times to read the article, but let’s not hold
that against them or insinuate that their motives might have more to do with
profit than principle.
Facing such lies and distortions from reporters and media people whose ethical
principles are supposed to prohibit such conduct – something I experience again
and again as I attempt to champion the “civics book” lessons of achieving and
maintaining honesty in government and taxation – makes it difficult to see a
light at the end of the tunnel, but the light reappears every time I think of
all you who support me with prayers, financial contributions, and motivational
letters urging me to keep on fighting. All those who champion honor and honesty
have faced many a dark night from the oppressors of old.
With your support, I know I am not alone in this fight for honor and honesty.
With your aid in our common pursuit of justice, I am reminded of the famous
Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, who, when facing odds that seemed insurmountable, put
in words better than I,: "Do not go gently into that good night, but rage, rage
against the dying of the light."
Thank you for your continued support.
-For those who have received this message as a forward from someone else, you
can sign up to receive these messages directly by visiting
www.freedomabovefortune.com and clicking on "Mailing List".
-For those who are unfamiliar with what has transpired to date in this case,
please visit www.freedomabovefortune.com and click on "IRS LOCKOUT UPDATE" or
visit www.joebanister.blogspot.com .
-My sincere thanks to those who have prayed for the success of our efforts and
contributed to my defense fund. Your continued financial support is enabling me
to illustrate, in detail and in a very public manner, that the IRS does not
prevail against citizens because the agency adheres to the rule of law, but that
the IRS prevails against citizens because the agency ignores the law and
overwhelms the citizen with economic and legal burdens. In a school yard, such
tactics are called "BULLYING". In a government setting, such tactics are called
TYRANNY. This effort is the equivalent of ganging up on the bully and sending
him to reform school where he belongs.
Joseph R. (Joe) Banister, C.P.A.
Former IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent