Open Letter to President of USA and Prime Minister of India

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From: Jeff Knaebel, Moral Sovereign – January 2011
[Editor’s Note: Jeff Knaebel destroyed himself by self-immolation on January 25, 2011 near the ancient Buddhist site of Bairat, near Rajasthan, India. The following letter was found near his incinerated body. “Knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live” (Aristotle, ETHICS, IV, 3) he deemed it “unconscionable and morally repugnant to live as a slave.” He maintained that taxation, government enforced citizenship, and travel and domicile restrictions, were all badges of enslavement.

Jeff’s posthumous manuscript titled Message From a Moral Sovereign: The Life and Death Story of an American’s Journey from Warpath to Gandhi Path was published in India in Fall 2011. A 320 page paperback, it is now available from The Voluntaryist for $ 20 (**) postage paid to US addressses or (**) elsehere, sent to

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Subject: My Final Satyagraha for Nonviolence and Freedom

For a long time the Government of the USA (“USG”) has been the world’s leading merchant of death and destruction. Throughout my entire lifetime of 72 years the USG has been committing horrible crimes against humanity and all life. The sustained systematic psychopathic practices of the USG have launched humanity on a path to extinction. Mahatma Gandhi said upon the atomic bombing of Hiroshima that unless we adopted a nonviolent way of life, it spelled the suicide of the human species. Daily he is being proven correct.

As a citizen-slave of the USG I have been coerced to pay taxes which are then employed in bloody wars of aggression and coercive international economic practices which exploit weaker peoples whose lives, cultures, and ecologies are destroyed in the process. While dwelling in the land of my birth I was not permitted to withdraw from citizenship and the concomitant complicity in mass murder which USG citizenship entailed. Therefore I chose to come to India, and eventually decided to renounce my USG citizenship, and to destroy my United States passport and other government identity documents at the Gandhi Samadhi, Rajghat, New Delhi on 19 June 2009.

I acted in protest of government denial of my right to exist as a natural human living with respect for all life and answering to my own conscience. By requirement of identification and travel documents and permits both the USG and the Government of India (“GOI”) mark me as a piece of property to be regulated and controlled as the human equivalent of a dog on a leash. By my self-directed death I demonstrate my refusal to be the slave of either government.

To the Prime Minister of India (GOI), I refer the attached letter of 20 October 2010 from the General Counsel of The World Service Authority, which cites the violations by GOI of my human rights under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and International Law.

The GOI, acting through its police and the orders of its Supreme Court, has prohibited my freedom of movement and has denied me access to shelter pursuant to threat of FIR against any person who would host me. In thus pronouncing me to be an illegal human being, the GOI has denied my right to exist. A person cannot survive without freedom of movement and shelter.

My petition for Statelessness, denied by your Supreme Court, was based upon the clear fact that to change citizenship would only be to change the name of my slave master, for the GOI engages in many life-destroying and murderous actions against its own citizens, and also seeks “Strategic Partnership” with the war criminal USG.

By my death I send my answer to the rulers of the Corporate State who value property and profit more than human life and the life of Earth herself. In refusing to live as a slave I also extend to both of you my metta-karuna (compassion and loving-kindness), for if one examines deeply he will find that the corporate master is more tightly bound than the slave, for the slaves are powerless to come out of it, while the Powers That Be have free will that they fail to exercise because of addictive enslavement to power. For the corporate rulers, the power to manipulate and control other people has become an end in itself. They will no longer control me.

My wish for you is that you come to see the intrinsic evil of the governments which you head, and resign from your official positions, understanding that the people need no institutionally imposed ‘leaders.’

My campaign of Satyagraha has made it clear for all to see that under law and practice of both USG and GOI, a person striving for nonviolence at even the most rudimentary levels of non-support of killing is denied by law the right to exist. It is not by the laws of the Corporate State that humanity will find peace and justice, for such law is conceived in the womb of greed and implemented through the violence of power.

I give my life to the cause of nonviolence. I wish not to live under coercion to support the cruel inhumanity of either of your governments. I wish not to live under control of governments who possess neither the wisdom, nor the virtue, nor the right to exercise power over human life.

Only through fellow-feeling and loving-kindness can mankind survive on our small and crowded planet. We must share this Earth equally and with respect among all. I have acted out of love to try to send a warning to my fellowmen, and I send to each of you my sincere feelings of kindness and my prayers for your peace, happiness and harmony.

May peace and goodwill prevail among all men. May you both abide in well-being,

Signed – Jeff Knaebel

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