Renunciation as divorce

10 September 2008 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in diary, philosophy | 18 Comments »

More than one person has advised me that I should not renounce my American citizenship as I plan to do. The reasons vary: the inconvenience of losing so much visa-free travel, the loss of ability to do good work for the libertarian/anarchist cause in America, the loss of voting “rights”, the potential for getting caught out as a stateless undesirable and interned in a refugee camp or prison, etc.

Let’s picture the citizen/state relationship, for the sake of discussion, as a marriage. You fell in love when you were young and impressionable and decided to get hitched. For the sake of linguistic convenience, let’s have you be the wife, the citizen, and the state the husband.

After your honeymoon and as time goes by in your marriage, you notice some things are decidedly wrong about your husband. For one thing, his history is really quite different from how he described it before you got married. The more you learn about what your husband did in the past, the more doubt you have in the notion that he is really a good person. How could the one you love have done such awful things? How could he wrap his past crimes up in fancy language and present them as virtues? You try to ask your husband about these things, and if you are not met with stony silence or cold dismissal all you get is a repeat of the same slide show and heavily edited home movies you’ve seen before, to the strains of triumphant music and accompanied by words that seek either to bury that terrible history or to change the meanings of the very words themselves. Sometimes you get slapped hard across the face. You have real doubts.

One day your husband comes home after a late night out with blood on his clothes. “What happened!” you cry. “Oh, I was handing out candy to the children in the neighborhood. Then I killed a man.” Why? Because the other man believed the wrong things, spoke out of line, failed to obey, resisted your husband’s commands and was trying to fight off your husband. “What was the fight about?” you ask. Turns out that your husband was trying to rob that other man, or force him into slavery, and he wasn’t too happy about it. It’s all okay for the moment — surely your husband wouldn’t do such things to you or your family now, would he? But still, the doubt grows: do I really want to be married to a robber and a murderer?

One day you realize that your husband in fact comes home every day fresh from killing and/or robbing someone. There always seem to be good reasons for the torture and the killings — or so dear hubby says — but there’s this nagging voice inside you that asks: how is he different from any other psychopathic mass murderer? Am I next?

You look back more deeply into your husband’s history and find and entire lifetime drenched in blood and clouded by lies. The horror runs so deep and is so pervasive! Sure, your husband may have performed a million good or neutral acts in his past, but there are thousands of incidents of such unrestrained barbarity that there never possibly could have been good intent behind them. You see a pattern.

And you wake up one morning — alone in your bed, as your restless husband never sleeps — and you realize you’ve been tricked. You recall, all at once, the times your husband has beat you, has tormented you about your own nature, has slandered you to the neighbors and has treated you as worthless. You note that he does no work himself, but regularly steals half of your paycheck before you have a chance to enjoy any of it. You see his bloody, murderous present in the context of his bloody, murderous history, and you wonder just what sort of monster you married. No matter: he is certainly not the man you imagined, nor the man he claims to be.

"I love you" by nubuck @

"I love you" by nubuck @

You try to reform your husband, but he is recalcitrant; in fact, the beatings become even more severe when you do so. You try to enlist the help of neighbors and friends, but they all rebuff you, saying that your husband can’t possibly be an evil psychopath — after all, look at the millions of good things he’s done! You find few if any people that can see through the deception. You realize that your husband is the very embodiment of evil, and that you have been duped into believing him virtuous, duped into the marriage and lied to every day and through every one of his acts. You realize that your love was misplaced, as it was based on lies.

Clearly, it’s time for a divorce.

It is a sad fact of human existence that there are tendencies in our psychology where people who are victimized become bonded to and emotionally dependent on those who prey upon them. Battered person syndrome is one such, and Stockholm syndrome is another. I have known many people, largely women, who have gotten trapped in abusive relationships with the most despicable creatures. Worse than seeing their bruises or wounds, worse than crying with them, worse than knowing the agony of their pain is hearing them justify why they really ought to stay with the person closest to them and who causes them the greatest harm — for the children, for the house, for the money, to avoid looking like a failure in marriage, because what will the neighbors think, because a marriage is a gift from “God”, because they think themselves worthless, because maybe “this time” it will all work out for the best, etc. Trying to talk these poor souls out of such situations, especially when you care for them personally, is most often an exercise in bitter disappointment as you watch them again and again return for more and more abuse.

The one thing they really must do in order to save themselves is to sever the abusive relationship immediately: pack your things, leave the house, start a new life, get a divorce, never look back.

I’ve done the first few of those things, now it’s time for the next step. It is my intent to divorce the criminal enterprise which calls itself “The United States of America”. I will not remain bonded to evil voluntarily through the exercise of citizenship.

  1. 18 Responses to “Renunciation as divorce”

  2. By Kent McManigal on 10 September 2008

    Of course, it was also an arranged marriage that occurred hundreds of years before you were born and that you never consented to. That makes it a complete sham. No divorce is necessary if there wasn’t ever really a marriage.

  3. By Mike Gogulski on 10 September 2008

    True and true and true and true, Kent.

  4. By Seth on 11 September 2008

    Mike, goddamn you are the man. Just discovered your site yesterday and I am busily plowing through the back posts and comments. It’s such a relief to find another soul out there who is also planning to renounce their US “submit”-izenship.

    From what I know, only approx 5,000 people renounce US citizenship each year, and most of those are people are natives of another country w/dual citizenship, who haven’t lived in the states for decades. The number of people that do it for political reasons I imagine you could count on one or two hands.

    I’ve run into many of the same lame-ass responses when I tell people of my intention to renounce, although I was planning on scoring citizenship somewhere else so I can at least travel.

    I’m planning on leaving the US in approx 6 months, maybe earlier if a job opportunity comes up. I look forward to more posts about your journey.

  5. By Mike Gogulski on 11 September 2008

    Welcome, Seth, and thanks for the kind words. If you follow the “diary” category from the sidebar you’ll find most of the key posts about renunciation without having to plow through a bunch of other stuff.

    One thing worth noting is that if you can renounce inside the Schengen area, you have that much of Europe to move around in.

  6. By GR on 21 August 2009

    I am a permanent resident living in another country at the moment (have my citizenship application filed). Have been for the past 5 years and have not filed a tax return in that time. If I renounce and refuse to submit or simply fail to submit the IRS form 8854, will that prevent my renunciation from becoming effective?

  7. By Mike Gogulski on 28 August 2009

    @GR: I’m not sure. My belief is that the State Department isn’t obligated to validate the 8854, so perhaps it doesn’t matter. That may not be correct, however.

    My thought was, “just file the silly thing and forget about it”.

  8. By magiclife on 28 July 2010

    Wait! You fell in love when you were young? First, let me tell you something. The entity that thinks of itself as the US gov’t forced us to feel as if we needed to recite a pledge of allegiance each and every morning. Sure, you could, if your parents wrote you a note and provided documentation, abstain from it, but you would have to endure endless “bullshit” from people whom you were conditioned to think you’d ultimately like to “be friends” with. So we recited…something that we didn’t even understand…at a time when we really didn’t know what was going on (ie, is this recitation trivial…is it only words?). I knew quite early on that I did not like the US gov’t. The government. Many of the people are good and trapped by actual criminals who have passed laws to make their crimes nonpunishable. All of my roots were destroyed by actions of that government (on one side the annihilation of the so-called indigenous people found on that land prior to the arrival of bullshitters, on another by the actions of that gov’t in giving away a bunch of small countries during wars). That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy myself and develop fondnesses for things and activities found their, but those things were also free at one time. Now they are not. But I must say that given the manner in which the indoctrination takes place at such a young age, it is less like a marriage and more like being born into a gradual slavery. So, I actually find it almost offensive the manner in which the opening of this is written: “You fell in love when you were young and impressionable and decided to get hitched.”

    I dare say that none of us EVER decided to get hitched. We were simply trained to think we wanted to or were…unless we grew up in a household where someone actually told us what was what…ie, how to recognize a wolf in a suit and tie.

    And the dead man, the one the husband killed, was only telling the children they shouldn’t eat the candy, or wasn’t allowing his own children to eat it. That’s a perfect analogy.

  9. By Robert on 7 November 2010

    A quick question for Mike. Are you talking about seceding or expatriating?

  10. By Robert on 7 November 2010

    Never mind my last question, Mike, I found the answer by looking up Form 884 — expatriation, not secession.

    According to my copy of Black’s Law Dictionary (c.1991), expatriation is: “The voluntary act of abandoning or renouncing one’s country, and becoming the citizen or subject of another.” [Emphasis added]

    So, now my question changes to, will you be, or have you been, forced to become “the citizen or subject or another [country]” as that definition seems to state?

  11. By Ronin on 15 November 2010

    As divorces go, one is usually loathe to provide the ex with one’s actual home address. So, my question is, did you provide your actual address onon the forms? I’m filling mine out now, including the ones to the Infernal Robbery Service, but rather not give my actual domicile location. Any tips you can offer?

  12. By Mike Gogulski on 15 November 2010

    My “official” address has been different from where I actually live for a good long while now 🙂

  13. By Ronin on 15 November 2010

    Could you please expand on that for my benefit? I mean do you use a totally phony address or a forwardable one?

  14. By Robert on 29 March 2011

    According to my copy of Black’s Law Dictionary (c.1991), expatriation is: “The voluntary act of abandoning or renouncing one’s country, and becoming the citizen or subject of another.” [Emphasis added]

    So, now my question changes to, will you be, or have you been, forced to become “the citizen or subject or another [country]” as that definition seems to state?

  15. By Mike Gogulski on 29 March 2011

    @Robert: I haven’t been, and don’t anticipate being forced to become a citizen of any country. Evidently, the Black’s definition is incomplete.

  16. By Robert on 30 March 2011

    Thank you for answering that question, Mike Gogulski.

    Next two questions. Expatriate, literally means “leave the homeland”.

    In your opinion,(1) does one have to leave their homeland in order to withdraw from membership in the political corporation?
    And,(2)does one have to ask the government’s “permission” to withdraw from membership in the political corporation, as you seem to infer with this statement, “My belief is that the State Department isn’t obligated to validate the 8854…”?

  17. By Mike Gogulski on 31 March 2011

    @Robert: According to US law, citizenship can only be renounced before a consular officer outside of US territory. To the second point, no, because the Nationality Act (or whatever it’s called) provides for involuntary loss of citizenship in certain circumstances, such as by joining a foreign military force in conflict against the US.

  18. By Ronin on 1 May 2011

    And now, SUPERMAN will be joining the legion of renunciants. Is that cool, or what?! Who’da thunk it?

  19. By Magic Mike on 25 November 2013

    Mr. Gogulski this is a great way to hopefully hit a nerve around here. This would have to be one of the few times where i wouldn’t question reason for jumping ship for new hope. Couldn’t agree with your mindset here. Unfortunately, i’m in this game of life here in ‘Merika until the people retake their republic. Always say “i’d rather die on my feet then live on my knees.” Just wanted to show appreciation for this write up. good luck in ur future journeys. Give em hell!

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