Footage has emerged of a sovereign citizen attempting to “educate” a cop on his bizarre beliefs, claiming that he can’t commit an offence because he “doesn’t identify as a person”.
Melbourne bodybuilder and self-described “sovereign spiritual being” James Bartolo sparked a flurry of media attention in 2020 as a key instigator of the city’s anti-lockdown protests.
He has since gained a following “educating” police – whom he calls “slaves” – about his strange and false conspiracy theories.
A video uploaded to Mr Bartolo’s social media in December revealed a fresh encounter in which he was hit with several fines.
The video shows Mr Bartolo behind the wheel of a car after being pulled over by Victoria Police for a random safety inspection.
He repeatedly refuses to hand over his licence and, when the officers do a search on the car’s registration, they find Mr Bartolo is driving while disqualified, kicking off the lengthy exchange.
“I don’t use a driver’s licence … I have this. This is what I use, this is my certificate of competency,” Mr Bartolo says, handing over an A4 sheet of paper covered in lines of text.
“Cool, mate. Well, I require an official driver’s licence,” the cop responds.
When asked for his full name, Mr Bartolo identifies himself as “James the Traveller, from Macedon, son of Peter and Karien”. He is asked what name the car is registered under, and says it is registered in the “legal fiction zone”.
“A pirate approaches me and asks if I have any identification to prove that I am a slave he has jurisdiction over,” Mr Bartolo captioned the video.
Mr Bartolo explained his false reasoning for driving without a licence in a separate video detailing the exchange, in which he repeatedly referred to the cop as “it”.
“It doesn’t care about a driver’s licence, it just wants the name. It’s asking that question because it wants the membership card to Slavery Are Us corporation,” he says in the rambling, nonsensical piece to camera.
“‘Are you a member of the slavery system, sir?’ That’s what it’s asking when it asks for the driver’s licence or for the name, because it is a house slave. It’s the slave that whips the other slaves and gets to sleep in a kennel instead of on the floor.”
Mr Bartolo also bizarrely insists he “doesn’t identify as a person”.
“I can’t commit offences because I don’t qualify as something which is able to commit an offence, because only persons can commit offences,” he says.
“I’m not a person. I don’t identify as a person … I identify as a sovereign spiritual being. I identify as life inside of a man. I identify as consciousness, as unlimited potential, infinite possibility. I don’t identify as anything your pieces of legislation are ever going to write.”
Mr Bartolo was hit with several fines over the incident.
His sister — who was also in the car and, by Mr Bartolo’s description, “did have a slave ID because she’s not very up to date with all this and is a very slow learner” — was able to drive the vehicle to a safe location, ending the tedious exchange.
In January he shared another clip showing dozens of unpaid fines, which he claimed totalled $50,000.
“I’ve had them (the fines) in a bag just sitting there for years now, after I’ve finished this video I’m going to throw them all out because it’s bad energy,” he claimed.
Mr Bartolo has appeared in court for a slew of charges in recent years, including for his role in the Melbourne protests, a number of road offences, drug possession and weapon possession.
He was disqualified from driving in December and had his plates confiscated.
Mr Bartolo now claims he has ordered “custom private property plates” online — linking to a novelty number plate website.
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