[The following post is by TDV Chief-Editor, Jeff Berwick]
I was contacted today by a Dollar Vigilante subscriber with an urgent situation.
He lives in Denmark and, as many TDV subscribers are, is not a fan of government. As such he had said some things about some politicians on Facebook that "hurt their feelings" and he now fears that he may have to spend six months in jail.
Surely hurting someone's feelings can't be illegal in Denmark, can it? Yes, it is illegal to hurt the feelings of a "public servant" in Denmark!
Penal Code 121, in Denmark, states, "Any person who with scorn, epithets or other insult assaulting any of the § 119 persons mentioned in the execution of his office or function or in respect of the same shall be punished by a fine or by imprisonment up to 6 months."
The people referred to as § 119 are, "public officials, the performance of the Service or the office or in respect of the same or of equal way seek to prevent such person in making a lawful act of service or to force him to make an act of service."
This kind of craziness isn't even just in places like Denmark. In Canada, one town has just made it illegal to "insult a public official"!
In the case of the man from Denmark who contacted me today he has decided he'd rather leave the country than stand for this prosecution/persecution. He wanted to go to Mexico but told me he didn't currently have a passport.
This is why I admonish everyone, no matter where you live, to always have a current passport. You never know when you may "hurt the feelings" of a government bureaucrat and be subject to imprisonment… or any myriad of other laws. In the US today almost everything is illegal. People have been imprisoned for collecting rainwater on their own property or even just trying to live off the grid… or feeding homeless people! Virtually everything can be deemed illegal in the US.
Besides not having a current passport this person was rapidly scanning the world map looking for a place where he can go for refuge from political persecution. This is also one of the reasons why we have TDV Groups (http://tdvgroups.com – TDV Groups is free with a subscription to TDV). It is a worldwide group of libertarian expats who are also TDV subscribers who can help fellow TDV'ers. I immediately added him to some of the TDV Groups in Mexico so he could figure out where he wants to go as he defects from Denmark.
The moral of the story here is:
1. Always have a passport that is current and up-to-date. Oppressive countries around the world are getting more oppressive and you never know when you may find yourself being persecuted for all manner of innocent deeds. Also, if your passport is nearing expiry, renew it earlier rather than later. With my own passports I try to renew as early as possible. That way if I get stuck in a situation where I need to use that passport and can't renew it, for whatever reason, I have a longer period of time by which I can find other options.
Of course, if you have the ability to get a second passport that is even better. If you have a family heritage for another country contact its local embassy and ask them if you qualify to apply for citizenship based on heritage. It is NEVER easy to do but it is worth your time to try as that gives you another option should your home country deny you a passport. If you have the means (ie. a fair amount of money, as it is not cheap) you can look at investment citizenship options in numerous countries around the world (TDV Passports can help with many of those).
2. Even if you don't intend to expatriate it is good to be connected to a worldwide network of like-minded expatriates should you ever end up on the run from ridiculous persecution. This is something that TDV Groups can be of incredible value should you find yourself looking for somewhere to go on a moment's notice.
3. Expect the unexpected. This person had just "insulted" some government officials. Now, while you may say "But it's only six months in jail, that's not too bad", you may feel differently when they come for you. In this person's case he had already been wanting to defect from Denmark so imminent incarceration just prompted him to do so more quickly than he planned.
As we get further into The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI) there will be countless dangerous situations people will be faced with as economies, financial and monetary systems collapse. Prepare for anything to happen now rather than later as it will be much more comfortable to do so while already being prepared rather than being caught off guard and being like this person looking for last minute solutions.
This person's experience is minor compared to what many people will be facing in the coming months and years as TEOTMSAWKI progresses. Take the time now to get your affairs in order so if/when you find yourself having to run from a bad situation you aren't left without options.