Famed Activist Red Beckman Dies
This friend to American liberty lovers and truthseekers and IRS critic worked six decades teaching fellow patriots their constitutional rights. His was a life lived well and for the greater good, and he will not be forgotten.
By Pat Shannan
On Dec. 30, 2018, American liberty lovers and truthseekers lost a great friend with the passing of Martin J. “Red” Beckman. Born in 1928, Beckman had just celebrated his 90th birthday during the recent Thanksgiving week.
Since discovering truth, Beckman had spent most of the past half-century writing books, lecturing, producing television videos, and being interviewed on various talk shows. Many of these books he made available to readers of American Free Press through the full-page advertisements he regularly placed in this country’s last, real national newspaper.
Remembering his military oath taken during the Korean Conflict to defend his nation “against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” it took Beckman a few years after returning home to realize just who these “domestic enemies” were that were threatening the freedoms of the American people far more than any foreign enemies.
Beckman had been introduced to the terrorist tactics of the IRS in 1957 as a contract logger in Montana. He had a good crew and a growing company, and he and his wife, Earlene, were happily raising an expanding family. That is, as he said to this writer, “Until we were confronted with the most corrupt powers that we hard-working people could ever imagine.”
Beckman was able to win that first IRS battle and had a brief reprieve until the next confrontation in 1963. He won again that time and had no more problems until 1973-74. When the IRS meddlers next decided to become a problem for the Beckman family, they made a big mistake. He didn’t foolishly load his rifle, an act that he knew would be futile, but instead began to fire a different round of bullets—those of information to others.
His books have since brought an inspiring message of patriotism to untold thousands of truth-seekers. And, we must remember, this was accomplished without benefit of the advertising funds from the giant publishing companies. All the Beckman books were self-published.
While that lengthy fight with the IRS was still going on, Beckman authored his first book in 1979, Born Again Republic, a delightful reminder to Americans of the blessed founding of the U.S.A. and how the unconstitutional IRS was stealing their wealth and liberties.
Known as “Montana’s Fighting Redhead,” “The Grandfather of FIJA” (Fully Informed Jury Association), and “America’s Oldest Living Patriot,” Beckman said only last year that one of his neighbors had just read Born Again Republic and thought it was the best book he had ever read on the subject and that the information therein is more appropriate and applicable today, 40 years later, than it was when he wrote it.
Beckman had a great marketing plan. He was more interested in spreading his message than he was in making money with his mission, so whenever he was invited to speak, he came up with an offer no group leader could refuse.
“Just give us a meal and a room for the night and buy a case of books for your own distribution,” he would say.
Born Again Republic was so well-received by American truth-seekers that Beckman realized he was harboring more suppressed information and began to write again. A lifelong Christian, he admitted that he was wrong when as a young man he trusted and believed what preachers from the 501(c)(3) corporate churches were teaching, and in 1984 published The Church Deceived, which defines the many lies spread from America’s pulpits as “gospel truth.” Deceived churches are a very serious problem,” said Red, “because they betray the trust and confidence of the people.”
The 501(c)(3) tax status, which lured naïve church leaders into incorporating as a business (so parishioners could deduct their tithes and offerings), was the brainchild of a criminal U.S. senator from Texas by the name of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Of course, church gifts were already tax deductible, but Johnson had contrived a plan for eventual control of which messages would be preached from America’s pulpits and which would not.
Beckman was constantly reminding reading and listening audiences that they had three votes in this nation, and the one on election day might be the least important. The forgotten other two are the grand jury vote (whether or not to indict a fellow citizen) and that from the petit jury box determining the guilt or innocence of a defendant—especially those accused of crimes without a victim. Beckman found it horrifying that Christians were sending Christian brothers and sisters to jail for the alleged crime of not filing papers with the government.
In 1990, Beckman followed with Walls in Our Minds, a multi-chapter compilation of essays depicting the many other aspects and methods politicians are using to deceive us daily and the indoctrination process used by the news media to keep us that way.
One of the most popular books of all—with an intriguing title—Why the Militia? (1997) commanded the attention of both the pro-constitutionists and those who had been news-media brainwashed against the “evils” of an armed populace.
One amusing anecdote surfaced a couple of years later when an IRS-targeted young man appeared in federal court as a pro se defendant against “willful failure” charges. Following their normal habitude, the IRS had previously released a few derogatory characterizations of “John” the defendant to the news media, and now in his opening statement, the prosecuting attorney had further attempted to demean the young man by telling the court among other things that he was a “militia leader.”
It was an “aha moment.” Since reading Why the Militia? “John” had been motivated to brush up on the history of the People’s Militia since the 18th century and included his new-found knowledge within his opening statement to sling egg all over the prosecutor’s face.
First, “John” told the court about the media smear campaign that had gone on, designed to bias the jurors against him, and then said that the prosecutor had just attempted the same thing “by calling me a militia leader. However, the fact is, I have documentary evidence right here,” as he waved some handheld papers in the air, “that the prosecutor himself is actually a secret member of the people’s unorganized militia.”
The 35-year-old assistant U.S. attorney went berserk with a loud objection and screamed that such a thing was a lie. “John” then motioned that the prosecutor be sworn in and put on the witness stand, but the judge would not allow it, so “John” began to read from the Militia Act of 1792 that conscripted every “free able-bodied white male citizen between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company,” which, of course, exposed the ignorance of the prosecutor and entertained the jurors, some of whom suddenly realized that they were militia members as well.
Ironically, Beckman’s greatest effort became his least appreciated. In 1981, Beckman and a group calling themselves the Montana Historians organized and financed the research and travel of former investigator for the Illinois Department of Revenue Bill Benson to collect the records from all the state capitals in the lower 48 states, which applied to and proved (or disproved) the 1913 lawful passing of the 16th Amendment. The results of that research showed an astounding, documented fact: The amendment purportedly authorizing a tax on personal income had never been lawfully ratified by the states. In fact, it had not even come close.
The Law That Never Was became what must be the most censored and government-suppressed book of the 20th century, if not in all the history of the United States.
In 1983, before The Law That Never Was was published, Beckman was called as an expert witness in a criminal tax trial in Fort Worth, Texas. He presented some of Benson’s documents to the court, but the judge not only refused to let the jury see them or hear his testimony but ordered marshals to remove Beckman from the courtroom, thereby displaying more collusion between the courts and the IRS.
Following publication, Beckman, Benson, and the Montana Historians funded the delivery of 535 copies to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.—one to each senator and representative—but never received even a “thank you” or any sort of acknowledgment from a single congresscritter.
Beckman came close to dying two years ago, but with prayer, good nutrition, and the avoidance of medical doctors and big pharma he fought it off more than once. For awhile there, he was even talking about writing another book, but the rheumatoid arthritis he had been fighting for a decade or more had recurred to the point that he couldn’t even type on the keyboard.
The arthritis came and went and came again, and in his last few weeks he was saying, “I don’t think God is going keep me here much longer,” and “I’m ready to go home.”
On the last Friday of the year, Earlene reached out to friends and family that she thought the end was near.
“He can’t walk, and he can’t talk,” she told me. “I just wanted you to know,” and that night I said a little prayer asking for his comfort.
After hearing no news on Saturday, I gave Earlene a call on Sunday to see how he was doing. “No change,” she said. “He can’t get out of bed, and he can’t talk.” We chatted another minute, and then she put the nurse on to tell me something.
“Wanna’ talk to him, Pat?”
I said, “How am I going to talk with him? You just told me he can’t talk.”
“Right,” she said, “but he can hear you when I put you on speaker phone. I know he’d like to hear your voice.” She walked into the bedroom, and a few seconds later she said, “Go ahead, Pat. He can hear you now.”
I thought for a moment and told him, “Hey, old pal. You’re a tough ol’ coot, but it’s okay if you go on up now. We’ll see you up there later.”
Nurse Carrie said he showed a slight smile and nodded his head just a little.
Only a few hours later they called me back to say, “He just passed away 15 minutes ago.”
Pat Shannan is a longtime writer and currently publishes articles and commentaries on the website “News Behind the Façade” located at www.iniworldreport.com.