Their belief system is complex and rooted in a series of bizarre conspiracy theories that hold that the original US government set up by the Founding Fathers has been replaced with an evil secret government that has sold all US citizens into slavery by using them as collateral against foreign debt.
As explained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, they believe the government creates a secret alternate identity for each American at birth and sets up a secret US Treasury account — sort of like a corporate “trust” — under that alternate identity. The US government funds these “corporate shell” accounts to the tune of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
Because the US no longer uses the gold standard, it instead uses these accounts as collateral to back up its currency. The money is said to represent each citizen’s future earning potential. The sovereign citizens thus believe the government has “pledged its citizenry as collateral, by selling their future earning capabilities to foreign investors, effectively enslaving all Americans,” according to the SPLC.
Part of their proof is that birth certificates and other government documents, said to represent this scheme, put names in all capital letters. So whereas Jennifer Williams is the real person, JENNIFER WILLIAMS is the secret Treasury account.
By declaring themselves “sovereign citizens,” members of these groups say they are freeing themselves from government enslavement and separating themselves from their secret, government-created alternate identity.