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The New York Observer [NYC weekly], August 28, 1995.
"Off The Grid: Non-Slaves of New York. 'Sovereign
citizenship' isn't just for the power line-tapping,
compound-dwelling white supremacists anymore. A guide to
getting The System off your back, New York-style."
They do not run around in military fatigues, they are
not holed up in Central Park, and for the most part,
they do not fall into the fringes of the extreme right
or the extreme left. Yet here they are, in the center of
the Center, going about their daily lives with nary an
A.T.M. or credit card in their name, without a Social
Security or voter registration card, without insurance
or bank accounts and driving with licenses they
themselves have rescinded. And one more thing: They do
not pay any income taxes.
What was made clear by Oklahoma City and Waco and
Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and by Ross Perot and the Unabomber
and most recently, Bill Bradley, is that dissatisfaction
with "the system" is pervasive in this country. Living
off the grid is the most personal way of expressing that
But, says Sharon Biggs, who teaches a three-phase, 40
week course out of her Washington Heights home on how to
successfully remove oneself from the system, "the
complexion is no longer that of the wronged individual
or visionary. It has moved into the mainstream -- people
who suspect that there is something wrong."