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Documentary ‘The Pacifist’ Asks What Can We All Do About Endless War

“My goal is to say to the government, what you’re doing with my tax money, our tax money is not what I want to be happening. So here I am, quivering a little because it is scary.”

Larry Bassett shaves his beard whenever there is a significant cut in military spending. When asked when he last shaved his beard, Bassett had a one word answer: “Stumped.” One look at Bassett and it’s clear Bassett hasn’t shaved in years and has grown an impressive beard that befits the man who is now the largest war tax resister in history.

A windfall from an inheritance gave Bassett the title of top tax resister in U.S. history when he refused to pay federal income taxes on over $1 million in April of 2017.

Bassett is now also the star of the one-hour long, award-winning documentary “The Pacifist.” The documentary, in looking at Bassett’s personal journey with war tax resistance, asks big questions like what are we all willing to do to commit to a more peaceful world? How far are you willing to go for principles you hold dearly?

While Bassett is the subject he is really the medium for a larger discourse about war, valuing all human life and the often deadly and destructive role the U.S. has played in countries across the globe.

Bassett is also not alone as a war tax resister. While resisting taxes can be lonely, as he says, and isolating there is a network of war tax resisters that have banded together and supported each other emotionally, financially and legally for decades.

The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) holds biannual national meetings plus has chapters and support groups across the country. Other resources include a hotline, forms you can file with your taxes to declare your resistance and references for legal advice if ever needed.

One important criticism of tax resisters is that they simply don’t want to pay taxes, but avoiding taxes merely to save a few bucks couldn’t be further from their motivation. Many, if not most war tax resisters, including Bassett, “redirect” their taxes. A war tax resister redirects their taxes by donating the money withheld from the IRS directly to a charitable organization of their choice. This way a resister is still supporting the constructive elements that our tax dollars support.

The Pacifist is a movie every tax-paying American should see. You may choose to pay taxes or not, but the movie isn’t about taxes, and getting a significant portion of Americans to refuse to pay all or even a part of their taxes is an uphill battle.

But what the movie does is force you to face the reality of our perpetual state of war and ask you, “What are you willing to step out of the rat race and do about it?”

The Pacifist is available now to stream on Amazon Prime.

Lauren von Bernuth

Lauren is one of the co-founders of Citizen Truth. She graduated with a degree in Political Economy from Tulane University. She spent the following years backpacking around the world and starting a green business in the health and wellness industry. She found her way back to politics and discovered a passion for journalism dedicated to finding the truth.

1 Comment

  1. Kurt April 10, 2019

    I applaud Basset, and all Americans like him.
    I have long wanted to do exactly what he is doing. I will look into it.
    The real answer to end this mega problem of humanity is to end CAPITALISM.
    Of all the things that we are required to learn before graduating from High school, like the Constitution. Do you not find it strange that we are not required to pass a class on CAPITALISM? We aren’t even told what it is.
    I remember asking that question in junior high. My teacher told me it was just like tha game of monopoly. Thats all I got. No recommendation on what books to read or anything. Its strange that somthing as lauded as CAPITALISM would have reams of information about it.
    After some research I found out why.
    The words CAPITALISM and Imperialism
    are interchangeable. CAPITALISM is the use of money to take over and control government so as to make the people with the money phantom rulers. The investment bankers are no friends to humanity.
    For example. When I was in grade school the price of gold was $32.00/per ounce. We were on the gold standard, and the dollar was strong. However WWII was all about the Capitalists taking over our country. You might have noticed. President Kennedy was going to turn that around, but they murdered him.
    After that we went off of the gold standard and now it takes over a thousand dollars to buy one ounce of gold.
    Now we are on Fiat currency. Its debt based.
    Meaning worthless. So what happened to our treasury full of gold?
    Well that’s CAPITALISM. To my way of thinking the 14 th amendment is violated every day. When a man works all week for a paycheck and when he crashes it he gets worthless script. He hasn’t been paid anything. Does that not constitute involuntary servitude?
    Ending CAPITALISM would end perpetual war, and free humanity.


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