When it comes to taxes, Christians often face difficult choices. But at the same time, we must provide for our families. With tax loads at the federal, state, and local levels growing steadily, more and more Christians are forced to choose between paying their taxes and feeding their families. For reasons both practical and spiritual, this is an impossible position.
However, a more careful examination of God's Word applies us with the courage to deal with our tax burdens more aggressively, so that we might avoid these problems in the first place.
The Sovereignty of Law
Christians often struggle with Christ's message when faced with IRS bills. We too readily conclude that because the IRS demands payment of a tax, we have a duty to pay because the IRS is likened to Caesar. But there is a critical difference between the two.
Caesar was the political sovereign of the time. His word was law, and all the inhabitants of the land were bound by it. The IRS, on the other hand, is not the political sovereign of this land. In fact, no single person or government agency is sovereign. In this nation, our Constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof are the "supreme Law of the Land." (Article 6, clause 2). It is therefore, the law which is sovereign in our nation - not the mere pronouncements of the IRS.
The IRS has no lawful authority to collect tax that is not legitimately owed. However, my 20-years experience with the IRS has shown conclusively that the IRS regularly uses tactics of bluff and intimidation to get money which is not owed. It uses misinformation and often outright lies to the public. There is no Christian duty to pay taxes which are not lawfully owed.
Yet you cannot take refuge in the reality that you are honest or did not cheat on your taxes. Virtually all of us make a faithful attempt every year to do what is right but millions fall short due to the myriad of statutes (and regulations) which change repeatedly. And millions more are entangled in a snarl of IRS errors.
OOPS! IRS Errors
The U.S. General Accounting Office has proved that the 60 million notices issued annually are dead wrong about half the time. It has proved that 66 percent of the 47 most common notices mailed to citizens concerning their accounts use unclear references, incomplete terminology, illogical presentation of ideas, and unclear guidance. This can lead to the payments of billions not rightfully due.
In 1995 alone, the IRS issued over 34 million penalties seeking more than $15 billion in revenue. Most were in error, and the majority of citizens were unaware of their right to challenge. In the same year, nearly 4.5 million citizens were accused of under-reporting their income or not filing returns. The IRS was wrong in half those cases.
To be faithful stewards over what God has provided, and to use those gifts to provide for our families as God intended, we must be able to stand in the face of unjust claims for taxes. Will you be victimized by an errant IRS notice? Will you fall prey to a penalty you do not owe? If so, your family will be deprived of the rightful fruits of your labor. As a protective hedge, you must understand your basic rights as a taxpayer.
Among those is a new package of rights signed into law in July, 1996, The Taxpayers' Bill of Rights 2 contains provisions that help citizens to better stand in the face of unjust IRS demands. The bill creates a stronger, more independent Problems Resolution Office with power to stop unjust actions and the right to appeal enforcement actions, including wage and bank levies. Now delinquent citizens have a greater chance of settling a debt under the so-called 'amnesty programs'.
Mycoplasmas are similar to bacteria. They are a group of small microorganisms, in between the size and complexity of cells and viruses, some of which can invade and burrow very deep into the cell and cause chronic infections. According to the Nicolsons, normal mycoplasma infections produce relatively benign diseases limited to particular tissue sites or organs, such as urinary tract or respiratory infections.
However, the types of mycoplasmas which the Nicolsons have detected in Desert Storm veterans are very pathogenic, colonize in a variety of organs and tissues, and are very difficult to treat.
These mycoplasmas can be detected by a technique the Nicolsons developed called "gene tracking," whereby the blood is separated into red and white blood cell fractions, and then further fractionated into nucleoproteins that bond to DNA, the genetic material in each cell. Finally, the purified nucleoproteins are probed to determine the presence of specific mycoplasma gene sequences.
As the Nicolsons wrote in a recent paper entitled "Chronic Fatigue Illness and Desert Storm - Were Biological Weapons Used Against Our Forces in the Gulf War?": "In our preliminary study on a small number of Gulf War veterans and their families, we have found evidence of mycoplasmic infections in about one-half of the patients whose blood we have examined."
"Not every Gulf War veteran had the same type a mycoplasma DNA sequences that came from mycoplasmas bound to or inside their white blood cells. Of particular importance, however, was our detection of highly unusual retroviral DNA sequences in the same samples by the same technique. These highly unusual DNA sequences included a portion of the HIV-1 envelope gene, but not the entire HIV-1 viral genome."
"The type of mycoplasma we identified was highly unusual and it almost certainly could not occur naturally. It has one gene from the HIV-1 virus but only one gene. This meant it was almost certainly an artificially modified microbe - altered purposely by scientists to make them more pathogenic more difficult to detect."
"Thus these soldiers were not infected with the HIV-1 virus, because the virus cannot replicate with only the HIV-1 envelope gene that we detected." [ED NOTE: But, infected soldiers do exhibit many of the symptoms of AIDS while testing HIV negative. Garth Nicolson says the Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus) contains about 40% of the HIV virus which causes AIDS. He told this writer on 8/9/96 that some soldiers do test HIV-1 positive, but do not have the HIV virus - only the envelope gene product.]
"Interestingly, the specific DNA sequence that we detected encodes a protein that, when expressed on the surface of the mycoplasma, would enable any mycoplasma to bind to many cell types in the body, even enter those cells."
"Thus this genetic manipulation could render a relatively benign mycoplasma much more invasive and pathogenic and capable of attacking many organ and tissue systems in the body."
"Such findings suggest that the mycoplasmas that we have found in Gulf War veterans are not naturally occuring organisms, or to be more specific, they were probably genetically modified or 'engineered' to be more invasive and pathogenic, or quite simply more potent biological weapons."
"In our rather small sample of Gulf War veterans, it seems that the soldiers that were involved in the deep insertions into Iraq and those that were near Saudi SCUD impact zones may be the ones at highest risk for contracting the mycoplasmas that we feel are a major culprit in the Desert Storm associated chronic fatigue illness. Our preliminary research indicates that the types of mycoplasma found in some of the Desert Storm veterans with the most severe chronic symptoms may have been altered, probably by genetic manipulation, suggesting strongly that biological weapons were used in Desert Storm."
"We consider it quite likely that many of the Desert Storm veterans suffering from the symptoms (described below) may have been infected with microorganisms. Quite possible aggressive pathogenic mycoplasmas and probably other pathogens such as pathogenic bacteria as well, and this type of multiple infection can produce the chronic symptoms even long after exposure." [ED NOTE: Three to seven years later. Joyce Riley calls it a time-release form of illness. Joyce Riley and the Nicolsons believe that the microbe just described is only one or 10 to 15 different microbes of different types of germ warfare that could have been utilized.]
Micotoxins are toxins that are associated with fungus. Fungi and micotoxins have long been a very secret carrier of germ warfare agents. Micotoxins are very difficult to destroy with temperature, weather, or anything else.
Mycoplasmas have for many years been studied as potential germ warfare agents. Add a recombinant DNA to the mycoplasma such as the HIV envelope gene, and you've got a very virulent form of disease that is going to be passed easily throughout the population.
Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus) (and the other 10 to 15 microbes the Nicolsons believe could have been used by Saddam) are easily manufactured and have been made for the past 15 years in America, Russia, Iraq, China, Israel, and even in Libya's new biological (germ) warfare facilities.
One of the more ominous aspects of GWI is that the microorganism is communicable between humans and dogs and cats (and presumably other animals). Veterans' pets are coming down with the GWI symptoms and dying. Remember, one of the Nicolson's cats contracted it and died. So, the disease is contagious between species. As Joyce Riley has said: "The fact that the disease is being transmitted from people to animals is almost unprecedented. To find an organism that can be transmitted to animals is truly frightening."
In England, a viral researcher friend says that he has treated a number of people with the human form of Mad Cow Disease - which he says has many common characteristics with GWI. Remember, most of the cattle herd in England had to be destroyed because of Mad Cow Disease. The British researcher says he is presently seeing (and treating) dozens of new, never-before seen viruses in the U.K.
Symptomology of Gulf War Illness
There is a large list of signs and symptoms which can begin from six months to six or seven years from time of exposure, and once they begin, can get progressively worse until the victim is partially or totally disabled, and dies. These symptoms include 1) Chronic fatigue; 2) Frequent (or constant) throwing up and diarrhea; 3) Severe weight loss; 4) Severe joint pains; 5) Headaches that don't go away; 6) Memory loss, concentration loss - the brain begins to go; 7) Inability to sleep; 8) A rash - on the stomach, groin, back, face, arms - often looks like a giant ring worm. Whole families often get the rash. 9) Lymph nodes begin to swell; 10) Nervous system problems begin to appear (Parkinson-like symptoms, numbness and tingling around the body which can degenerate into paralysis and death); 11) Night sweats; 12) Bizarre tumors - many brain stem tumors;
[ED NOTE: The active duty tumor rate in the U.S. military has increased 600% since 1990, according to data obtained from the Veterans Administration. This data available from Joyce Riley at the American Gulf War Veterans Association, 3506 Highway 6 South, #17, Sugarland, TX 77478-4401 (1-713-587-5437).]
13) Bizarre personality changes (victims become violent, have wide mood swings, severe depression, they hibernate in a dark room, begin to drink heavily, use drugs, become violently angry. Denial is a major facet of the disease; 14) Can't work - often go bankrupt; 15) A large number of the victims (perhaps 50%) end up committing suicide. GWI victims are walking time bombs!
Many of the symptoms are similar to AIDS because they are both immunosuppressive and attack the immune system. Most victims will have half to two-thirds of these symptoms (some more severe than others). Wives married to GWI victims are likely to get the disease via sex and other close contact, and their symptoms can even include cervical cancer, ovarian cysts, ovarian tumors, endometrosis, painful intercourse, chlamydia, and herpes (sexually transmitted diseases but with no extramarital sexual activity). About 90% of the wives of veterans who are sick with Gulf War Illness are now complaining of these symptoms.
When Joyce Riley had the disease she had some of the above symptoms in addition to the following symptomology: 1) She felt like a part of the body (a foot, a leg, a calf, an arm) was missing; 2) She felt like a pan of hot water had been splashed on her, one side of her body burned; 3) She felt like a foot was in ice; 4) She had bone pain, muscle pain; 5) She had central nervous system symptoms (Knife-like pain from the upper back to tailbone).
Bleeding and hemorrhaging are symptoms associated with GWI. In Ebola Zaire, the body bleeds out in about 46 hours. Ebola Riston (a variation of Ebola Zaire) takes about two years to cause death with severe bleeding. A number of Gulf War vets have called Joyce Riley and have told her that they are bleeding from every orifice of their body. And their doctors don't have a clue as to what is happening - they just know they don't have long to live.
Leukoencephalopathy is similar to Mad Cow disease - the brain dissolves! It is now spreading among the populace in England. Twenty-five to thirty-year old paratroopers are now dying of leukoencephalopathy. Other symptoms of GWI include: recurring fever, menstrual disorders, stomach upsets and cramps, heart pain, kidney pain, thyroid problems, and in extreme cases, autoimmune-like disorders such as those that lead to paralysis.
Many GWI victims are getting medical diagnoses of MS or Guillian Barre Syndrome, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gherig's Disease), their neurological problems eventually lead to paralysis and death. Thousands of Gulf War vets am now being diagnosed as having MS when they really have Gulf War Illness.
Graves Disease (a disease of the thyroid) is another problem or symptom associated with Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus) infection. If it settles in the heart, then you can get severe enlargement and neomsis (or degeneration) of the heart, and in some autopsies of GWI victims, the coroner says "their heart exploded."
The most severely affected units in our military are the 101st Airborne, the 52nd Airborne, and the Big Red One out of Ft. Riley, Kansas, and the 3rd and the 5th Special Forces.
The good news is there are a number of treatment modalities which help to alleviate the symptoms of GWI if started early enough and which, according to Drs. Garth and Nancy Nicolson, Joyce Riley, and others who have had the illness, can bring about a recovery (or at least long-term remission of the illness and its symptoms).
The Nicolsons discovered that unlike viruses, the mycoplasmas respond to the appropriate antibiotics if the disease is caught early. They found that two to four courses of the antibiotic doxycycline (2-3x 100 mg. caps/day taken for a few days to a week then 2x100 mgs./day for 56 weeks per course) work best.
They have also found that other antibiotics, (ciprofloxacin and azithromycin) also work, and they believe that the latter antibiotic is safe for children.
There are a small handful of doctors around the country who understand Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus) and who have been treating it. However, they are under tremendous pressure from the medical establishment and from the government not to discuss, acknowledge, or treat GWI. The half a dozen or so who have been treating GWI have asked that their names not be used in this report or put in writing for fear of retaliation from the government, they're afraid they'll be shut down or lose their licenses.
Most doctors do not have a clue that the illness exists. What it is, how to recognize it, much less how to treat it. This includes VA doctors who refuse to administer doxycycline to veterans with GWI symptoms.
Contact Joyce Riley at the Gulf War Veterans Association mentioned previously if you need help.