Perhaps After Reading This You Could Suggest a Title for This Post; A #FATCA Related Suicide Part I

 
UPDATE February 14, 2016

This post is now continued here .

 
UPDATE February 9, 2016
 
There has been some confusion about authorship of the letter/comment below. J did not say he (himself) wrote it and J’s father presented it as being from him. The comment on the site is anonymous. Clearly J sent it to his father and identified with it. For that reason, I am leaving it up as there is no way I can determine for certain, that he did not write it.
 
UPDATE February 8, 2016
 
I have not decided what is the best way to pass on more information about J’s situation and am afraid adding it to the bottom of this post means you will be less likely to see it. So for now, I will simply add it to the top and bring it to your attention by the “Update” heading. I am not adding anything without talking to J’s Dad first.

I want to pass on now, some things about J himself, what he did and so on, so you can see what kind of person he was. I know a few facts, such as he was born in February, 1969 in California, he went to university at Cal Poly and went to Sweden to do his Ph.D (roughly, around 1990 – 1991). He passed away on June 10, 2015.

J worked at the Karolinska Institutet, at the Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 1810, it is one of the most prestigious medical universities in the world. J’s fields were Genetics & Genealogy, Neuroscience, Psychiatry & Psychology and some of his later articles refer to Alzheimer’s. He published at least 64 major articles, collaborated with 212 co-authors from 1994-2010, and was cited by 3857 authors. I am not an academic but for someone to publish 64 pieces by the time he was 41 (already having two children) suggests to me this was a highly motivated person who was more than competent and clearly engaged and focused.

Here is a letter that J’s Dad provided which J had sent him.
 

I have a dream, an American dream.

I live in Sweden, which is hardly a tax haven. I am a citizen of that country as well as a US citizen. I have lived outside of the US for close to 25 years and thought I led a normal law abiding life. Unfortunately, the overzealous and poorly thought out attempts to catch US resident tax evaders have cast me and other overseas residents as criminals.

I am one of the few overseas residents who actually knew that I had to file taxes and did so. Last year, I needed to amend my US taxes due to a reporting error made by my overseas employer and I learned that as I had failed to file a form reporting my overseas bank accounts (the FBAR), the only option I had was to enter a so-called amnesty program, in which I have been told for this omission, I need to pay the US government 25% of my life savings, retirement plans, house, and car, all of which have been earned by legitimate employment overseas.

The “bank accounts” that I must report to the US government include life insurance policies, telephone prepaid cards, my customer card at the supermarket and my lunch card at work. The latter three must be reported, along with their highest balance (try to calculate that on a supermarket rebate card) all because they fit the definition of a debit card. All of this under threat of a penalty of USD 10,000 per account if I make a mistake in reporting. I think the most my lunch card has ever had on it was USD 60.

To add insult to the injury I described above, during 2011, FATCA began to be implemented in Sweden and my Swedish bank informed me that I would no longer be allowed to have any investment accounts because of my American citizenship.

FATCA also requires that for my 2011 taxes, I will need to file another form that repeats a lot of the information on the FBAR form and will cost me at least another three hours of accountant time. The much loved number of USD 10,000 in penalties is again threatened if I make a mistake on this form.

American information reporting requirements have become so demanding that I have made all kinds of new friends in my Swedish bank and tax authority. I get to challenge them to provide documentation that makes no sense in Sweden, but helps me to meet the US requirements. Without these wonderful FATCA requirements, I might have just led an unobtrusive life and like most other residents here, had very little to do with these people. Now I stick out like a sore thumb. FATCA has afforded me with the opportunity to prove to Swedes that Americans are different, demanding and difficult.

I have spent less than a year in the US in the last 25 years. Where you spend your childhood stays with you and I have a strong emotional tie to the US. So even though indications are that it would be in my best interest to renounce my citizenship, I plod stubbornly along in the face of all the abuse and try to believe in the American “truth and justice” I was taught about as a child.

That is why I appreciate your article. It will help to make public the unfortunate consequences of the poorly conceived FATCA legislation. Maybe it will help me and other overseas US citizens to be able to return to leading a normal life. That is all I desire in my American dream.

(Written a year ago in response to an article in a local paper)

“(Written a year ago* in response to an article in a local paper)”

*this comment plus the following 2 facts suggest this letter was written sometime in the first half 2012. I have not been able to locate the article it refers to. The date on the Word file is 20 October 2013-I cannot be sure who saved this Word File (i.e., J or his Dad)but given his comments about the 2011 taxes and form 8938, I believe this letter was written in the first half 2012, prior to the June 30 deadline for the filing of taxes.
(It is very clear J is aware of the 2011 OVDI program.)
 

Obviously, he did not suffer from a major psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, dissociative personality disorder or any psychopathic or sociopathic diseases. There is nothing to suggest he suffers from bi-polar disorder. It can be noticed that he stopped publishing in 2010 and can be demonstrated that he knew of FATCA in 2011. If he suffered a major depressive issue, it might be possible to say it coincided with his awareness of FATCA, FBAR, etc. And I will relate freely that I have been diagnosed with major depressive disease, many years ago. And have been most fortunate to have received the appropriate medication to deal with it. I do not consider my diagnosis to be indicative of the stigma of “mental illness.” (i.e., it is not a psychological issue but a biological one.)
 
This next item is a letter J’s Dad wrote to Rep. Eshoo, 2 weeks before J passed away.
 

28th May 2015

Dear Ms. Eshoo,

This morning my son called me almost in tears in an anxiety of which I thought him incapable.
When I picked up the receiver I did not think it was him. I had to ask several times who it was.

My son is a researcher at the Karolinska Institute, working in biochemistry and genetics.
He is hard working, utterly conscientious, and has published many, many papers in his field.
He has a beautiful family. His wife works for the Nobel Foundation. The Karolinska Institute
in Sweden is from whence Nobel prizes originate – I’m sure you know this.

I was (am) deeply concerned. I listened carefully. I felt he sounded suicidal. As a dedicated researcher,
honest and thorough, he is used to delving into complex issues and writing his conclusions. So what
complex problem could possibly be driving a deeply thoughtful person into such a level of anxiety?

My son was born into your constituency in the United States. After graduating from Cal Poly he
went to finish his PhD in brain chemistry in Sweden. He has worked hard (and successfully)
for twenty years to turn his small research salary into some savings. And that is the problem.

Banks everywhere in the world now (including Russia) want nothing to do with a depositor
who is American. So what is one of the seven to ten million Americans working permanently or occasionally abroad supposed to do?

My son a year ago started conscientiously reading all the US laws pertaining to “foreign” earnings.
These are very complicated documents. The more he read the more complex they seemed. He tried
(and is trying) his best to comply with all the requirements, Including finding a CPA in New York and
several in Sweden.

My son has already paid every tax he owes – in Sweden they are, bar none, the highest in the world.
But here are these US requirements requiring him to declare all foreign earnings, pensions, savings,
passive investments, etc. and to pay a tax on top of what he has already paid to Sweden simply
because he was here at birth.

Trying to figure out these requirements and to comply has driven him to desperation. He sees terrifying scenarios in which he is asking, for what? The US is the only country (besides Eritrea) demanding this.
There are seven to ten million honest Americans living abroad. FATCA is being used as a sledgehammer
(of IRS abuse?) to catch a fly or two – inconsequential financially – of those who abuse our system.

Ms. Eshoo – Rescind FATCA! The blood will be upon your heads – congress and yours! if my son is driven
to suicide after a year of dealing with the consequences of this horrible, unjust, draconian, and miserably self-defeating law. Is it worth losing a just citizen just for this?

As matters unfold he may not, I’m afraid, be the only one of millions.

Yours respectfully,

xxxx (J’s Dad)

 
This is the end of what I am adding for today. I am sure many of you will have something to say about all this………..
 

This concerns absolutely the worst news I have ever come across in the 4+ years I have been immersed in this situation. I am not going to even try and address anything beyond this simple explanation so you have some context.

A couple of days ago, a comment that somehow was never seen/approved became visible on the renounceuscitizenship wordpress blog. The comment consisted of two letters. Given the fact this was written last July as well as the serious nature of what it concerns, it was decided to keep it in pending until we had made contact with the author, to make sure he still intended for it to remain public. I have spoken with him and he does want it to be seen. However, nobody is likely to see the comment on that particular post since it is 7 months old. So the two letters are being posted here now. Ms. Eshoo, to whom the letters are addressed, is the Congresswoman (D) from the 18th Congressional District of California. She also spent 20 years (1993-2013) as the Congresswoman for the 14th District. She voted “Aye” for the H.I.R.E. Act. There has been no response from Ms. Eshoo.

One thought on “Statement from @AARO (unlike @DEMSabroad) supports Bopp #FATCA lawsuit”

July 21, 2015 at 11:28 pm
25th June 2015

Ms. Eshoo
When you and your fellow co-conspirators in congress voted on FATCA you murdered my son
This beautiful person who wanted to live out his dream in peace in another land was destroyed by you.
You and your fellow co-conspirators, with your unattainable requirements,
boxed him into a mental dilemma from which he could not escape.
As a just person he found your injustice in FATCA incomprehensible.
After a year of intensely trying to figure out what to do
he committed suicide.
There are families in grief in your constituency.
There are families in mourning on both sides of the Atlantic.
You have destroyed a decent person worth a thousand Obamas.
You have ruined the happiness of dozens of friends and family members
through your cruelty revealed within this monstrous law.
You have utterly destroyed our faith in government with the
incomprehensibility, inhumanity and malice of this law.
Your only hope of atonement?
Repeal FATCA NOW

Sincerely in grief,

xxxxxx

*****

14th July 2015

Dear Ms. Eshoo,

Re: Death of J., a citizen of Sweden

Thus is clearly an over-reach by an agency of the US government of the grossest magnitude. FATCA affects eight-and-a-half million Americans occupying themselves honorably abroad. This is IRS abuse on a scale far vaster than the diminutive insults inflicted by Lois Lerner’s 501(c)(3) scandal. FATCA is an act of IRS persecution, with a far greater ill effect on American lives than Lois Lerner’s pinpricks. It cannot be dismissed in a form letter.
I have filed the cause of his death as: “Persecution by an Agency of the Government of the United States.”
It is clear that the United States is in full violation of its Principles on U.S. foreign policy and most Articles of the Declaration of Human Rights. (For reference you may see both Principles and Articles appended below.)
FATCA, signed into law by Mr. Obama on the 18th of March 2010, can be shown to violate these Principles and Articles with the uttermost disregard possible.

Here is a preamble to this law:

“The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a United States federal law requiring United States persons (including those living outside the U.S.) to have yearly reported themselves and their non-U.S. financial accounts to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), and requires all non-US (Foreign) Financial Institutions (FFI’s) to search their records for suspected US persons for reporting their assets and identities to the US Treasury. Congress enacted FATCA to make it more difficult for (resident and non-resident) U.S. persons to have financial assets which are not located in the United States, by adding further asset-reporting law with consequences, and thus to enable further federal tax revenues and penalties from a wider global population of newly discovered US persons and their partners, at the expense of non-US banks.”

Just looking at Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one already sees that the IRS is over-reaching by its criminalization of every American living abroad, and in making them report to the “Financial Crimes Enforcement Network”, as if it’s already proven that every American living abroad is abroad with criminal intent.

In Article 1 “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” is clearly not true when FINCEN
Is searching “the… records of suspected US persons for reporting their assets and identities” – is it enough to be suspected that allows the IRS to take way a person’s dignity and rights? And what right does the IRS have to do this to anyone anywhere outside the US, let alone to a Swedish citizen?

In Article 2 “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration” with “no distinction … on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs.” So the rights and freedoms are universal but the IRS is allowed to go far beyond its domestic charter in going after anyone anywhere, even against the laws of another country?

In Article 3 is the most fundamental of all “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Clearly the authors of FATCA thought the rights of anyone irrelevant to the needs of the US government.

One may look at Articles 4, 5 and 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and one sees that
(i) “No-one shall be held in slavery or servitude”, (ii) “No one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, nhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, and (iii) “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law”. Except, of course, when it’s a US law which utterly disregards the laws of every other country in the world, including Sweden. And except when that slavery is due to an agency of the US government, namely the IRS, which is trying desperately to keep Americans abroad in servitude, and except where that torture is the daily threat to appropriate a part or all of every asset a person has acquired abroad by honest labor, and which has already been taxed at the highest rate in the world, as in Sweden.

That is just touching the surface of the malfeasance of this run-amok agency of the US government. The true magnitude of what FATCA has perpetrated and achieved is utterly appalling. No other country in the world has ever persecuted its citizens like this for migrating abroad. EVER.

To look a little further into this “Reign of Terror” of a US agency, one may see its truly malign influence on individuals, commerce and foreign relations. Everyone knows that no bank abroad wants anything to do with an individual born in America or bearing an American passport: this makes travel and commerce impossible.
But that is beside the point: it’s the US law and must prevail globally. That FATCA has poisoned international relations, has made the US a demi-pariah, and is even being copied by neo-soviet states like Russia, is beside the point: it’s the US law and must prevail globally. This is clearly nonsense, but it is the law, indiscriminate and vicious.

It is particularly where FATCA preys on individuals that the damage to human rights is most gross. In my son’s case it was first, the closing down of his Swedish bank account. It was then his realization that the government of the United States was after a complete accounting of every asset he had earned in Sweden with hard, honest labor over a period of twenty years. As a Swedish citizen, he had already been taxed at the highest rate in the world bar none. This sense of persecution and injustice by an alien agent was continuously and overwhelmingly felt by him.

From Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (in the Declaration of Independence “ … the pursuit of happiness”), J. experienced the “loss of happiness” as a result of losing his bank account, and gradually, as he realized the full magnitude of the requirements of FATCA, in the torture of its implications. J. lost his liberty when finding out, just before his death, that his communications with his bank (and only those communications) had been compromised. He knew then that he had no liberty, as guaranteed by Article 3, at all.

Hemmed in by the egregious requirements of an incomprehensible and unjust alien law, J. saw his life as being made increasingly worthless. He was isolated within Sweden, among Swedish friends, as a pariah. His protection under the laws of Sweden, where he was a deeply law-abiding citizen, he witnessed evaporating. Anguished by the dilemmas of FATCA – he would not pay an unjust tax for owning property in Sweden nor would he pay the tax for giving up his U.S. citizenship – why should he? – he went out and hanged himself. His daughter went outside and found him hanging by his neck in the morning.

So J. lost his happiness, he lost his liberty (and “security of person”) and thrust into isolation utterly by a country he loved (but, in keeping his passport, he wished to return to one day) he went out and killed himself. In a mockery by FATCA’s blind injustice this proved to invert “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” into the opposite, completely miss-stating the order of these words in the Declaration of Independence.
Article 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.” The “State” to which this refers is the United States; the “activity” or “act” being performed to which this refers is the activity of FATCA; the “destruction” to which this refers is the deliberate destruction by an agency of the US government of all of J’s rights and freedoms as set forth above.
I have therefore listed, as I must in honesty, the cause of J’s death as “Persecution by an Agency of the Government of the United States”. More simply “Persecution by the government” of which you are a part.

I believe the United States under Mr. Obama is wholly and uniquely responsible for this most diabolical law.
FATCA violates fully half of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Therefore FATCA will be,
as it must be, abolished by the United States, else the Universal Declaration of Human Rights means nothing.

FATCA is also totally against the Principles appended below, that “Promoting freedom and democracy and protecting human rights around the world are central to U.S. foreign policy”. My son’s human rights, as a decent, honorable citizen of Sweden, were stripped from him mercilessly by FATCA, making a mockery of
these Principles.

Which part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that do you do not understand, Ms. Eshoo? That somehow being enthralled by Mr. Obama’s oratory, in a congress filled with Democrats, you could go ahead and pass any law Mr. Obama wanted, Human Rights be damned? This congress, known as “The Brutal One-Eleventh” for the laws you whipped through, undertook the passage of these laws in utter disregard for the rights of American citizens at home or anywhere.

J. leaves behind a Swedish wife and two beautiful Swedish children. It leaves behind individuals all over the United States and Europe grieving for a beautiful person essentially murdered by an act ill-considered by congress and signed into law by a feckless Obama. The stigma of FATCA is one which you and your fellow Democrats – Pelosi, Reid and Obama – will bear forever.

Millions of people around the globe are regretting that Mr. Obama ever came into office. The world burns while feckless Obama dithers. I am regretting this monster infinitely more than anyone with the loss of my son.

Sincerely, and in immense grief,

xxxxxxx, father to J

APPENDICES
A. Principles. Under the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor it says the following:
“Promoting freedom and democracy and protecting human rights around the world are central to U.S. foreign policy. The values captured in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in other global and regional commitments are consistent with the values upon which the United States was founded centuries ago. The United States supports those persons who long to live in freedom and under democratic governments that protect universally accepted human rights. The United States uses a wide range of tools to advance a freedom agenda, including bilateral diplomacy, multilateral engagement, foreign assistance, reporting and public outreach, and economic sanctions. The United States is committed to working with democratic partners, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and engaged citizens to support those seeking freedom.”

B. Articles. PREAMBLE TO THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.”
Article 1.
• All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2.
• Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 3.
• Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 4.
• No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Article 5.
• No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 6.
• Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 7.
• All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 8.
• Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Article 9.
• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Article 10.
• Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Article 11.
• (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
• (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
Article 12.
• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 13.
• (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
• (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 14.
• (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
• (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 15.
• (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
• (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
Article 16.
• (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
• (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
• (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Article 17.
• (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
• (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Article 18.
• Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Article 19.
• Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 20.
• (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
• (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Article 21.
• (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
• (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
• (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Article 22.
• Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
Article 23.
• (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
• (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
• (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
• (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Article 24.
• Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
Article 25.
• (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
• (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Article 26.
• (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
• (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
• (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Article 27.
• (1) Everyone has the right to freely to participate in the cultural life of the community,
to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
• (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any
scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Article 28.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
Article 29.
• (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
• (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
• (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 30.
• Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

This post is now continued here .

 

23 thoughts on “Perhaps After Reading This You Could Suggest a Title for This Post; A #FATCA Related Suicide Part I

  1. nobledreamer-Tricia Post author

    I know that “J” was terrified to even go to the US. And we know many, many people choose to lurk. He may have read everything available on the web. And still felt hopeless. We are so involved in the fight that perhaps we miss that some people feel nothing will come of our efforts. I don’t think it would be odd at all if he not only found IBS & MSB, read it and chose not to participate (there are so many like this ) but that he quite possibly felt we have no chance at succeeding. We are doing just what the doubters (those who claim the story is a hoax) are -assuming he would not take such an action if he thought like us. Some people have suggested it can’t be real because they can’t accept a father with two kids could commit suicide. These people seem not to know real life outside the Donna Reed show. Parents abuse kids, drink, do drugs, etc. Parents are human, not saints. I can’t understand this kind of reaction….

    Reply
  2. Ginny Hillis

    No words. The follow up stories from Tricia about this family’s situation leave me bereft. This has to STOP. How many more is it going to take? What price will it take until the USG just lets us live in peace?

    Reply
    1. James

      It has already cost me my peace of mind, I think about this constantly with regular suicide thoughts. I’ve planned it. I know where I will jump from if the pain reaches a level that I can no longer stand.

    2. Lynne Swanson

      @James You are not alone.  We may be far away but you are among friends here who understand this nightmare.

      Please, please do not take such a desperate step.

    3. James

      Lynne, knowing that I am not alone is one of the few things that helps bring perspective to all this. Thanks for your message.

  3. James

    The suicide thing is no joke. I am an accidental American in the United Kingdom and I am up at 1:30 am pondering suicide. Only the thought of my children is stopping me.

    Reply
    1. Canadian Ginny

      James, thank you for your openness and ability to share your feelings with us. I hope the company and support you will find here is of assistance. You are not alone even though you are caught up in this mutual nightmare. Please do not hesitate to keep in contact with us at anytime night or day. If it would be of any help feel free to ask a moderator for my personal email. I am one of the named plaintiffs in the Canadian lawsuit, and although I am not in your exact shoes or your country many of us appreciate and understand your situation and are here for you all the way, every day.

    2. James

      Thanks again Ginny, I have to admit that James is a pseudonym as I am rather paraniod. Many many thanks for your offer! I actually managed to speak on the phone to someone else at another forum and to the Samaritans. I may take up your offer in the future as I feel I need all the support I can get.

      I find it easier to share my feelings here than in real life, I am still putting a brave face to the world whilst all these horrific thoughts cross my mind continuously.

  4. NorthernShrike

    I am a little confused as to why the name of the poor guy has not been released. Is the family afraid of revenge by the IRS/US government? There is no hope of a journalist pursuing the story if his name is concealed (alas).

    Has there been any reporting of the story in Sweden? (I could probably translate, or at least decipher, a story in Swedish.)

    Reply
    1. EmBee

      @ NorthernShrike
      J’s father did not withhold his name. That was Tricia’s choice and I’m fine with that. If you wish to know you can go to the renounceuscitizenship blog. (Look for Statement from @AARO …)

    2. nobledreamer-Tricia Post author

      Northern Shrike,

       

      The point of releasing this information at this time, is not to get it in a newspaper. It is to notify the expat community before going forward.

  5. Mark Twain

    There are hundreds of thousands of people in that same situation. I know someone who gives FATCA FBAR discussions out loud in his sleep. Then after “coming clean” everyone has to just wait to see what will be assessed or just to wait infinitely for no penalty.

    Reply
    1. Lynne Swanson

      I had a dream about FATCA last night.  I dreamt I met Canada’s Liberal Finance Minister in person.  

      In in my dream, Mr. Morneau did not know anything about FATCA and gave me just a few minutes to describe it. In my dream, Mr. Morneau listened. In my dream, Mr. Morneau was horrified.  In my dream, Mr. Morneau pledged to bring in the amendment I submitted to Parliment’s Finance Committee.

      I woke up before anything further happened.

      In real life, Mr. Morneau and the rest of the Libs are silent. Along with the Privacy Commissioner, Canadian Civil Liberties Association and governments around the world.

       Why won’t anyone listen? Why have we been so betrayed?  Why are we living this nightmare?

  6. nobledreamer-Tricia Post author

    Adrian,

    So very glad you got out. The story of the Canadian couple is horrifying. I feel like the anger is just going to explode inside my bones. There is simply no excuse for this and I just cannot imagine people such as that couple’s US representative sitting back with such arrogance and doing absolutely nothing. And how on earth can the courts or the governments proclaim that there is no harm here? What the hell else would they call it?

    Lynne,

    It was the very least one could do and I am sure any one of you would have done the same. I asked J’s father how the family was doing and he did say “remarkably well, under the circumstances.” He sounds energized, ready to move on this, wherever it takes him. He writes, as therapy.

    Schubert,

    I was talking to Keith Redmond this afternoon and it came to me that the exceptionalism that is so taken for granted in the US has actually produced a type of mass mental illness. I have the TV on and the halftime show for the Superbowl came on. It was like watching a bunch of crazed lunatics who are completely tuned out to anything that makes any sense. I really don’t mean this as a criticism but it just felt so foreign to me………..

    There is something seriously wrong with America…….

    Reply
  7. Lynne Swanson

    @Schubert, Pacifica and @Adrian: Well said from each of you.

    I have no words to describe how I feel about this except, as I said, it is devastating but not surprising news.

    The U.S. Continues to show it is not the country that was pounded into our heads as kids or in high school. I question if it ever was considering that most of the founding fathers and early Presidents were slave owners. I do not remember learning that in American History. Did I miss it? Did anyone else learn it?

    CBT has never been about taxes. It has been about punishment for choosing to live outside the U.S. since it was introduced during the Civil War. Another fact omitted from our textbooks.

    The conversation with a U.S. Senator sums up what Congress thinks of us.

    We have all been betrayed by both the U.S. and by the countries we have chosen to live, participate and contribute–usually as responsible citizens.

    Unprecedented for most of us for sure.

    I hope J’s family finds some support here or elsewhere. If anyone from the family reads this, please know we can’t feel the depth of your pain, but we do feel the ache of J’s death. We understand the horrific impact of all of this.

    We try to offer a place where you can join with others for support, undrestanding and sharing.

    Reply
    1. Pacifica777

      @ Lynne,

      Re: “The U.S. Continues to show it is not the country that was pounded into our heads as kids or in high school. I question if it ever was considering that most of the founding fathers and early Presidents were slave owners. I do not remember learning that in American History. Did I miss it? Did anyone else learn it?”

      Yep, I did. My schools were pretty good on Black history and current events, beginning in elementary school. Due to covering such topics, they didn’t really dish out the message that the US is perfect, more like the US is a great country but not as great as it could be; and I’d say they gave an overall very positive view of its history but there were definitely negative parts of its history in there too. From what some people have mentioned here and on Brock about how the US was portrayed to them by their schools, I get the feeling that the “it’s a great country — but there’s room for improvement” approach was not as common as it should have been (and I suspect it’s worse today what with that “exceptionalism” stuff).

  8. Adrian

    The title should be:
    ‘When a Nation Turns on it Own Citizens, Bad Things Happen’

    The title should make it clear, right at the outset, exactly what this is all about.
    I am fortunate to have rid myself of the toxic, burdensome and vise-like U.S. citizenship at the beginning of all of this, in 2011. I could see it coming, but never imagined that it would reach such proportions and get worse and worse. I personally know of one desperate case, of an innocent, law-abiding retired Canadian couple, who in their attempt to “do the right thing” actually opened Pandora’s Box and are now faced with ruinous legal bills and thousands of dollars of penalties and capital gains tax of $85,000 for the sale of their family home, upon their retirement. The capital gains upon the sale, which are exempted under Canadian tax law, but not in the U.S.A. were immediately demanded by the U.S., with penalties and interest. They also had four Canadian mutual funds and have now lost about $75,000 on those, as PFICs are penalized. Their retirement has been ruined by this and all the years of carefully saving and planning for their last years were for nothing. Their daughter’s calls to a U.S. Senator (Democrat) who represents the state where the mother of one of them was born, were met with derision by an aide, who only said, “The Senator supports tax fairness and everyone paying their fair share, no matter where in the world they may be. If an American citizen has gone abroad, he or she must know of the consequences that such an act may have on their finances. The Senator would advise them, if this is causing such hardship, to return to the United States.” (!!!) There was no possibility to discuss the matter, as it was clear that they don’t have any interest in the subject, only in fascist enforcement and keeping the “natives” locked up in the “Land of the Free”.
    The only good thing out of all this, is that it has allowed so many people to see the true face of the U.S. A good nation doesn’t allow such things to happen to its people. A good nation corrects bad laws, that harm its people, hurts their economic and employment chances and damages the nation’s image and competitively in the world. A good nation acts quickly and democratically when grievances are brought to its attention. A good nation doesn’t confiscate, extort and threaten those it deems its own. A good nation respects the sovereignty of other nations and respects the right of free movement and encourages its citizens to be members of the global community and spread its values and ideas. No, the U.S. is not a good nation and now millions know that and more know that each day. Eventually, the pendulum will swing in the other direction and there will be justice. Until then, Americans should be less gullible and trusting of their government’s intentions and have more fortitude and determination when standing up to a system worthy of the worst fascist regimes of the past.

    Reply
    1. nobledreamer-Tricia Post author

      Adrian

      I tried to reach you by email but it came back returned. I would like to ask you something. Could you kindly email me at:

      nobledreamer16 at gmail dot com

      Would really appreciate it.  Thanks!

  9. Pacifica777

    I think this is causing suicides, nervous breakdowns and clinical depressions in persons, where other life problems have not done so and would not do so, because it’s unprecedented and, by its nature, the victims of this are isolated.

    I think why a person caught up in this can end up feeling there’s no way out, no way to get their life back, why they feel their life is over is because:

    To cope with this, you cannot rely upon on precedent, as you have instinctively done all your life in dealing with the bad, even horrible, things life has thrown at you. This may not be the worst thing a government has ever done to people it claims to be its citizens, but it is unprecedented.

    It is not a crisis that ever happened to people you know, or that you have heard about over the years from the news or from history class or through literature or movies. You have no background to rely on — and it’s very disorienting.

    It’s equally unknown and unprecedented to one’s natural support system (friends, family, neighbours, acquaintances). And equally unknown and unprecedented to mental health care professionals. I’ve wondered how many sessions with a psychologist might it take to explain to them what this problem is? That you’re not over-reacting or making things up?

    Also unlike other life crises, which are precedented, a person is dealing with this is extremely isolated.

    If you’re the victim of a fire or a tsunami, persons who have never been affected by such a disaster do know what a fire or a tsunami is. Often they lend a hand, but one thing for sure, even if they don’t actively help, they do understand what’s happened.

    In a situation of war or civil strife, your neighbours are something of a support group. But in this situation, while your neighbours are living their normal lives (the life you lived til OMG day), you’re living in a twilight zone – sort of like you’re living in the only home you have, the only place you really know, on a visitor’s visa because a foreign country is controlling your life. Everyone else’s life goes on. Yours ended OMG day. Up is down, left is right, black is white.

    Reply
  10. Schubert

    I can think of no words that adequately would express my sadness, horror and outrage at the damage FATCA has done to J, his family, his friends, and millions of others affected by that outrageous and imperialist US over-reach.

    Any homelander American who still wonders why so many people around the globe mistrust, dislike, or downright hate the US and its works, need read no further than this letter. What the US does to its own children, estranged or not, having flown the nest or not, is a consequence of the attitude it has had for decades (if not longer) toward anyone who isn’t an American (past or present, alleged or not), doesn’t reside in the US, or even does reside there but is in some significant way different from “mainstream” America. America, as reflected by the actions of its government with the tacit approval of its population, has become a country of intolerance, ignorance, hypocrisy, and arrogance. Not all individual Americans are like this, but collectively this is what they have become, and if they believe they are a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people, than those people collectively share responsibility for what their country has become. And it is their collective responsibility to correct these wrongs.

    Reply
  11. Lynne Swanson

    I suggest a title that calls it for what it is: FATCA Suicide in Sweden.

    This is devastating but not surprising. I know of others who have contemplated suicide. Damn the U.S. and governments around the world for how they are impacting the lives of law-abiding people like J and the rest of us.

    I am so sad that J did not find Sandbox or Brock before his death. Perhaps he could have found some other solution or at least some support.

    Thank you Tricia for reaching out to J’S father. How is the family doing now?

    Reply
    1. WhiteKat

      Lynne, do we know that J did not find Brock or Sandbox? I find it difficult to understand how he as a career researcher and someone who was trying to be meticulously compliant (thus researching about FATCA and CBT), could not have. Brock and Sandbox were not enough to save him. The support of his family was not enough to save him. IMO, the blame for his death falls squarely on the failure of the government of the country he lived in which not only refused to protect him, but rather facilitated an unwarranted attack against him by a foreign country.

    2. Lynne Swanson

      @WhieKat. No I don’t know for certain that J did not find Sandbox or Brock.  It is my understanding that when Tricia contacted the father, he did not know about Sandbox, Brock, ADCS or other efforts.

      i may have jumped to a conclusion from that information.  That conclusion may be wrong.

      I don’t want to pretend that Sandbox or Brock could have prevented J’s suicide.  But James says knowing he is not alone helps keep him going and that he is able to share feelings here more than in real life. I do think being among others who understand may have helped J.

      I don’t know what could have saved J. Like you, I think much of the blame goes to Sweden as well as to the U.S. As bad as things are about this in Canada, they are far worse in Sweden and in many other countries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)