Here comes pseudolaw, a weird little cousin of pseudoscience

Colin McRoberts in Aeon:

ScreenHunter_1814 Mar. 27 18.47Would you like to stop paying taxes? Just renounce your 14th Amendment United States citizenship and claim ownership of the secret cestui que (beneficiary) trust that the US government created in your name on the day that you were born. Credit card debt? No problem, the trust is flush with millions or billions of dollars that you can use, just as soon as you establish ownership of your verified birth certificate and the corporate entity that has your name – but in all-capital letters.

These are some of the claims advanced by the self-styled experts who insist that everything you know about the legal system is wrong. These days, we are distressingly familiar with alternative, conspiracy-theory versions of science and medicine. Less well-known is the legal version of this phenomenon, not as visible as creationism or anti-vaccine activism but in many ways as destructive. Just ask the residents of Harney County, Oregon, who recently saw militants occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge emboldened by ‘judges’ and ‘citizen grand juries’ who had less to do with actual law than fantasy football does with the US National Football League.

Pseudolaw resembles pseudoscience in both its methods and applications. Believers are typically intelligent and motivated, and capable of constructing complex edifices that sound superficially credible.

More here.