By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Enloe says that "eight banking families that control the world" are among those trying to usher in "one world government."
Mark Briskman, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in Dallas, says he has explored that notion at length with Republic members. When pressed to name who they believe is oppressing them, they "end up naming seven Jewish families and the Rockefellers."
"It goes back to the same old historic canard of 'the International Jewish conspiracy,'" says Briskman. "At the end of the road, that's where this stuff leads."
Among other Republic of Texas beliefs that have their roots in the Posse is the idea that government power rests in the local county, with the sheriff having the authority to enforce "the common law," meaning local precedent and custom.
The Posse's philosophy included virulently racist beliefs rooted in a notion that whites get their rights from God, while other races have had their rights legislated into existence by the 14th Amendment.
At least in their literature, the Republic has steered clear of race and religion. Several black and Hispanic members attend their meetings.
As the very mundane debt collection case involving the Enloes' Buick neared its trial in Dallas County Court No. 4 in June 1995, Jesse and a few men he knew at the Committee for Legal Reform set up their common law court in Arlington.
They called it Our One Supreme Court.
The court's paperwork--in the style of freemen movements nationwide--declared that the institution was not part of the United States, but instead a creation of the "Republic of Texas."
"The court we modeled it after up in Oklahoma used the words Country of Oklahoma," Enloe explains. "We liked using republic, the Republic of Texas."
At their first session, held June 17, 1995, they heard as one of their first cases Alice Irene Enloe Vs United States et. al; and all Whom it May Concern.
Before Irene testified, she took a so-called declaration of quiet title, professing herself a private citizen rather than a "subject of the United States." In the one-sided proceeding that followed, 12 judges/jurors arrived at a unanimous "finding of law and facts" that the Buick belonged to Irene free and clear, and they demanded that the credit union cough up the title.
Lloyd Black, a 72-year-old retired carpenter, signed the official-looking order as "special appointed marshal," and it was sent to the credit union's attorneys. The court even took out a legal ad in Fort Worth's Commercial Recorder. The notice said the credit union needed to send their claim to the court "no later than four days after publication or lose all right in...said private property."
Before the notice ran out, Judge Bruce Woody of County Court No. 4 in Dallas ruled after a brief hearing that Irene Enloe owed the credit union $33,778.77, plus $9,444 in attorney's fees.
What followed was a blizzard of stern rulings from Our One Supreme Court, including a "writ of prohibition" ordering "the inferior Dallas County Court at Law No. 4 to cease and desist in all actions and decrees" in Irene Enloe's case.
In early 1996, Richard McLaren began gathering followers to his Republic of Texas movement through various meetings around the state, including the Committee for Legal Reform, and the Enloes and others joined in.
"Initially, he had that magnetic personality that drew a lot of people in," says Enloe. "He got them excited."
Their Arlington court transformed itself into the official Republic of Texas court, renaming itself the Milam District Court of Common Law Pleas.
In another notice sent by the Enloes in the battle for the Buick, they informed Judge Woody: "I Alice Irene, Enloe hereby give NOTICE that I am civilly dead (civiliter mortuus), being a sentient human being...I am a free National of the Republic of Texas which is foreign to the venue, jurisdiction..."
"As a defense it wasn't very effective," says attorney Douglas Johnson, who nevertheless ended up compiling a thick folder of Republic of Texas documents and "rulings" sent by the Enloes.
The Enloes had surrendered the car in the fall of 1995, a day before a hearing on whether to hold them in contempt for hiding it. Still seeking to recover the more than $10,000 Irene Enloe continued to owe, Johnson set about to compel her to give a deposition. Their efforts ended last October with Judge Woody issuing an "order of attachment," meaning Irene could be arrested and jailed and made to appear at the deposition. By that time, the Enloes had simply stopped showing up in court, and took to returning notices with the words "Refused For Fraud" scribbled across the front. Irene began calling herself a citizen of "Yahvah's Kingdom at the Republic of Texas."
Irene was finally brought in by Dallas County sheriff's deputies in early February, processed, and taken to the 10th floor of the George L. Allen Dallas County Courthouse.
"I was so shocked--I didn't know where I was," she says, sounding like a hardened con. "You'd ask them a question, and they'd lie to you."
Sheriff's officials say Irene was a memorable prisoner. Not only did she make it clear she was the vice president's mother, but she refused to shower, and ended up smelling so ripe that she was put in a single cell, says Jim Ewell, the department's spokesman.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city