Gene Chapman, the “tax honesty” activist who fasted for 40 days in protest of the federal income tax, says his decision to stop the hunger strike was based on two moral principles of Mahatma Gandhi, on whom the fast was based.
“In a conversation with the Director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Non-violence, located in Memphis, Tenn.,” Chapman explained in a letter to supporters, “it was very surprising to me to discover that she felt there were two moral problems with continuing my fast:
“1.) Gandhi taught not to fast against those who do not love us (see letter to George Joseph April 11, 1924).
“2.) Gandhi taught not to fast against those who think they are in the right (see interview to Vaikom Deputation May 20, 1924).”
Chapman stopped eating on tax day, April 15, saying he would not eat again until he had what he considered an honest, adequate response from the federal government to one question: “Where is my tax liability in the law?”
Sporting an Indian garment, Chapman spent much of his time sitting across the street from the IRS office in Austin, Texas. He did receive responses from his federal representatives, but he said the letters contained “just more doublespeak … from the government.”
“I want to pay any tax I owe,” he noted during the fast, saying the Bible exhorts him to do so. But, Chapman said, “I can’t find a law that says I owe a tax.”
Chapman called off the fast Saturday afternoon after hosting a rally in Austin with 75 supporters.
Continued Chapman: “I quickly realized that I had profound new material to evaluate prior to continuing my death-fast against the IRS. By Saturday afternoon, after our big rally together, I had lost 55 pounds, could not hold down water and had something coming out of the pours of my skin that smelled like malathion (insecticide that my mother had used around our yard when I was young.) Whatever the ‘stuff’ was it was sticky like glue and very unpleasant. In short, I was dying from where I sat and I knew waiting another 10 days to announce the newfound Gandhi material was not going to work.”
Chapman’s hunger strike followed that of Rose Lear, a Michigan woman who fasted for 29 days this spring. She was demanding answers to 537 questions included in a petition for redress of grievances sponsored by the organization We the People. The questions concern the “tax honesty” movement’s contention that the federal government lacks any legal jurisdiction to enforce the income tax, that there is no law that requires Americans to pay the tax, and that the tax is enforced in a manner that violates the U.S. Constitution.
The activist says he now plans to embark on a “march to Washington” with Chicago businessman Fred Smart. He says the two will travel from the IRS building in Austin to the nation’s capital, stopping in towns along the way to “teach people about freedom.” He plans to talk about what he sees as an encroachment of communism in the public policies of the U.S.
“It’s just a matter of me healing up [from the fast],” Chapman told WorldNetDaily, before he would be ready to hit the road. Chapman hopes to be in Washington by Labor Day, at which time he plans to tell the powers that be: “Let God’s people go,” echoing Moses’ call to Pharaoh in the book of Exodus.
Said Chapman, “I really feel the Lord’s leading in this.”
The activists says his blog will continue to operate to inform people about his march.
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