This letter first appeared on December 8 (at the Righteous Investor), a mere four days before the official launching of the Isaac Brock Society.
A letter to the Executive Director of the Society of Biblical Literature, an association with over 8000 members, informing him why the author will not be renewing his membership: The US Federal Government is persecuting American citizens abroad of whom the author is one.
Dear John F. Kutsko, Executive Director of SBL
I wish to inform you that I will not be renewing my membership with the Society of Biblical Literature which has now lapsed for some months.
The main reason for having the membership in SBL is so that I might be able to attend the SBL annual meeting. Since I will not be travelling to the United States for reasons other than family emergency, I see no reason at all to renew my membership.
I will not be travelling to the United States because the IRS has recently decided to persecute American citizens living abroad, by expecting them belatedly to file FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report), and to crackdown on Americans abroad who have not filed their 1040 taxes; in addition, the new FATCA law will force our banks to tattle on us, so that we have no place left to hide from the overreach of the IRS. We are law-abiding citizens in our respective countries, and the US government is treating us as criminals, and our citizenship has become a millstone attached to our necks.
In addition, this predatory government has decided to define broadly US citizenship when it comes to people in my country Canada, and this means that people who relinquished their US citizenship decades ago or who never considered themselves American, are now being told by border guards that they must travel to the United States only on an US passport. Once they obtain that US passport, they are then trapped in filing Gehenna of a thousand forms to become compliant citizens (FBAR, 1040, etc.)–but now their use of the US passport makes it nigh on impossible to claim that they had relinquished their US citizenship decades ago. This makes it possible for the IRS to pillage their retirement savings through FBAR penalties. This is entrapment.
We watch from Canada and the other nations of the world, as the United States spends itself into oblivion with a federal deficit of 40 cents on the dollar. The deficit in the United States now reaches apocalyptic proportions of myriads of myriads of myriads (1.5 trillion — a number with 12 zeros!), and we feel that we are made victims so that the criminals in Washington D. C. can continue this spending spree.
I have written two major articles (see links below) and many blog posts which explain why Americans abroad feel exploited and persecuted, and why many, like me, have chosen to relinquish their citizenship. Many of us are very angry with the United States government for putting us in this position, and few of us feel like travelling to the United States for optional business or pleasure trips. SBL’s annual conference is on my list of optional travel. Therefore it is nixed, as is my membership in the Society.
I hope that you would inform the members of the SBL of this predatory position that the IRS has taken vis-a-vis Americans abroad, and I ask you please to work towards the repeal of FBAR, FATCA, and the unconstitutional extra-territorial taxation of Americans living abroad.
Peter W. Dunn, PhD
In Concord, this the 8th day of December, 2011