I am no longer human, merely another number. Nothing more than cattle, to be done with as they see fit. My face is invisible; all that matters is the string of digits tattooed on my skin—this is me, I am theirs. This is my identity, this is my prison. Do I exist? Am I alive? According to their papers, I do … for as long as they wish. But as soon as they cross out those numbers I am dead. For I am no longer me,
I am no longer the person who simply lived under the name my parents gave me, in the body God placed me in.From every WWII novel
One of my best friends was a part of an off-grid homesteading Facebook group. One day, she said that someone made a post asking for advice on keeping her children out of the system and not giving them social security numbers.
Remember, this was an off-grid group.
The responses were overwhelmingly the same:
“Why would you do something so cruel? They’ll never be able to do anything.”
“Don’t be stupid. Everyone needs a social security number to file taxes.”
“Your children will hate you.”
“But then you can’t take them off your taxes, you know?”
My friend posted a link to this blog, but it was removed with a probation warning: links are forbidden in this group.
The ironic hypocrisy was so disgusting my friend left the group (I joined it to message the people who actually seemed open-minded to truly living off-grid).
But it’s also sad. Because there are so many lies we have been fed by our government. They don’t need to round us up and tattoo us, we voluntarily hand ourselves over and keep the number for ourselves, and claim it as our life-line.
But, the tragedy doesn’t end here …
When I was in Germany I went to the Flossenburg concentration camp with my Au Pair family. There I read that a mother managed to save her baby from being killed by hiding it in a garbage can during inspection. They were released from camp only a couple months later. It’s one of those stories that inspires you … until you think of all the other mothers who also hid their babies in garbage cans, but were still found.
The babies hid in the garbage cans are every child that a parent has spared from the modern system. Some of the children will cry (a garbage can is no pleasant place). Some of the children will be found regardless through CPS. But many of the children will grow up free as I and my siblings did.
And then it is up to us for hating our parents or not. It is up to us to research and decide whether they blessed us with freedom and life, or whether we’d rather the government define what life should look for us.
Sadly, the hatred is too prevalent. But this isn’t because of a lack of a number, but because even the parents have believed a dangerous lie: that the child must remain in the garbage can forever. They, too, believe that they can’t do anything. They believe that a sweet and beautiful life is impossible, but that it is a worthy trade. Would you rather be an animal owned by a tyrant?
Some of the children say, “Yes.” They hate life in the trash can. It is not a good trade for them. They are young, with dreams and aspirations. And the government says, “Yes, you’ll be ours. But we’ll also give you what you want.” This is also a lie. But oh how good it sounds to the child who has been kept in a garbage can, to the child who has lived to survive, but not to thrive.
And so we have the sad reality of those who were blessed with freedom, but cursed to not understand it. Who asked the government to, “Grant me my identity.”
I’m Not the Only One …
The Girl Who Didn’t Exist: Alecia Faith Pennington, Texas.
Alecia was raised I was, the oldest of many children, home schooled and kept out of the system. But she wasn’t taught to love her freedom, nor to understand it, nor most importantly how to use it.
It is natural for nineteen year olds to ask the question of, “Who am I?”
But tragically, Alecia allowed the government to answer her with a string of numbers and a few pieces of paper. Oh, Alecia. You are so much more than that. The American dream is so much greater than what the government grants. You are an American citizen by birth. How dare you think your parents neglected to “officiate” this? We were Americans before our government conceived of making us nothing more than cattle on their war-board.
You are not this number you have naively fought for. And I’m sure, by this time you are very aware of this, and still not content with your “identity”, and discovering that your dreams must still be fought for despite having a social security number.
The podcast is sad, because it shows an angry girl bolting out of the trashcan her parents mistakenly kept her in for far too long. It is natural for children to grow up and leave their parents and live. Too often parents like Alecia’s forget this, and tell their child only of the horrors of the world.
But when you are young, you know there are beauties to be had, too. And when you are young, no horror can stop you.
Accidentally Saved, Yet Knowingly Gave Up Her Life
Her father didn’t want her, but the government did: Haylee Ann Rucker
Article about Haylee Ann Rucker, Minnesota.
Halyee was also nineteen when the question of what she would do with her life hit her. Like many of us, she was taught, you can do anything you want, with a little bit of a dream and a lot of hard work … as long as you have a social security number.
She believed the lie that she didn’t exist. Who is she to be satisfied in her own life when the government have made it clear that one must be legal to have life?
“Rucker had none of the vital paperwork needed to lead a regular adult life,” the article reads. And now we know the secret behind the #adulting memes. It’s all about having the right paperwork, not about who you are or what you do.
The writer of the article goes on to say that she met Haylee working “under the table” for the Mayor’s wife as a health aid.
And just what does it mean to work “under the table”? Whose table are we talking about? Once upon a time, all a man needed to do was work and provide for his own table. Yet, we live in a time where not only our we considered stingy for not allowing the government to take our money to buy tables for other people, but we have to work and pay our taxes according to how our government has arranged their cards on their table. Anything less is “working under the table.”
“I can’t do anything,” Haylee said. And I feel her agony, for I too thought this when I was nineteen.
Just because we think something, doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because all feels hopeless, doesn’t mean it is so. We are Americans, and we were blessed with the Spirit of a dream: live your life, limited only by what you don’t do to achieve your dreams, under no man or ruler, permitted to do anything as long as it harms no one else’s pursuit of happiness.
And then she received her papers, marking her as property of the US government. She willingly held out her arm and accepted the tattooed numbers. She gave up herself to exist by the rules of a corrupt power.
And she said, “I can finally start living my life.”
Haylee, how has life worked out for you? Have you find your dreams? Is there truly anything you can now do that you couldn’t have done before, with just a little more education?
Are you truly living life more fully now?
This isn’t to say these girls are evil for having made what I consider a mistake.
No more than a Jew (or German, Polish, or Russian for that matter) is evil for having been incarcerated in a concentration camp. But I will speak more on this matter in my next post, Existence Does Not Equate Morality.
But for now, I want to remind you all that this is the heart of why I started this blog. It’s not about having or not having a birth certificate or social security number. It’s about living an educated life of liberty.
Even in the concentration camps, there were those who refused to view themselves as their captors viewed them. They would not be a number. They lived even though a captive. They fought for their dreams when all the odds were stacked against them. Many died, true, but even more tragically, there were those who survived that never truly learned how to live. But those who did live, whether they escaped or not, understood who they were and what they wanted, and that defined them.
You may be a servant to our government on paper. You may be a prisoner of the system. But as long as you can still fight, you are living. As long as you know who you are, it matters not how the world may try to control you. You are free simply by knowing and living to the best of your ability.
How many others are out there like these two girls who simply want to live, but don’t know how? How many are being told sweet lies by our society?
How many, like me, simply want both dreams and truth? Who has learned that liberty is nothing without life?
I want to remind all young people, whether you “legally” exist or not, that your identity is what you choose to make it. You do not need anyone or anything to validate your worth or path.
Not even a social security number.