In spite of strong negative undertones that riddle CBC's feature investigation put out this past month, Finding the Freemen does its part in directing public attention toward a group of individuals that are currently challenging our understanding of the government's overall legitimacy.
When word of an identified movement opposing institutional norms is featured on mainstream media, this can only bring about further discussion and promise of future exposure. Even though Canada's "trusted" news source portrays the freeman movement with such dissent, the additional commentary and debate that will come from this report and others of its kind will hopefully reach the ears of some of society's more reputable academics. In turn, they may help in clarifying where those titling themselves 'freemen-on-the-land' have gone wrong, and where they have hit the mark. Only then will there be a more viable and comprehensive definition of what the movement really means.
With any hope, more intuitive coverage of those professing these theories will ensue because the journalism provided by The National's Adrienne Arsenault is rudimentary--with heavy bias--at best. Personally, I'd like to think it's not the reporter herself but rather the interests of the broadcast's producers that have chosen to employ what seem like brainwashing tactics in Finding the Freemen. Notice, for example how the sensation of fear is instilled in this piece via the all too popular 'ADD-style machine gun' montage technique.
It's surely better to avoid the the blame game. There's too little love and cooperation and too much hate and conflict in the world. As I've learned from my studies, it's not necessary to think anything is inherently good or bad. Just know that it is and move forward.
For those sympathetic to the freeman movement, do not sulk at the National's dissenting portrayal of the freeman. Canadians can at least be happy that their "trusted" news source has not gone as far as to sensor the movement entirely. What is unfortunate though, is that an unbiased examination of freedemption cannot be expected to come from the CBC, at least for the time being.
Keep in mind, it is not hard to see why a movement like the one condemned in this feature investigation is treated the way it is. I have found the freeman ideology is met with immense scepticism. From unreferenced claims and quotations to overwhelming jargon, it is a seemingly backwards - or more correctly put, mirrored - philosophy of the world we live in that many do not agree with or support. Not to mention, the Freeman-on-the-land movement and all other freedemption taking place tends to directly challenge almost everything we have been raised to understand as contemporary social and political norms. Additionally, to get a clear understanding of where freemen (a term that embraces all humans regardless of sex/ gender) are coming from, plenty of time and energy is needed to look into subjects that are brought up--time and energy that most people don't have, especially when the subjects investigated tend to cumbersome and dull to the layman, spanning from economic and political history to analyses of biblical and legal quotes.
Here's something else that can easily be held against freedemption: For the most part, those speaking out about this kind of stuff, those putting it to the test and who are put on a pedastle for doing so, often come across as eccentric potheads trying to further their vision of a grand scheme conspiracy. To be frank, that's typically the kind of people they are but that does not mean they should be disregarded or disrespected, particularly when they preach non-violence. The fact that most are decently well-spoken, organized and able to collaborate with many others of like mind across geographical barriers suggests that this is more than just an underground subculture of lunatics but actually a spreading, self-educating community who's values are found to be useful and empowering in day-to-day life. But again, without thorough investigation, it is too easy to brush these folks off as anything but Youtube gurus propegating logical fallacies.
For those interested, here's Robert Menard's zany response to CBC's Finding the Freemen in which he is interviewed:
*** EDIT (April 18th 2012) : Rob's camera men capture full CBC interview (~1hour 15mins):
Til next time, here's a little two liner...
Some think we're beasts, use us as chattle,
Question authority but pick your battles