Strawman Birth Certificate Theory

Last updated May 27th, 2022

The Strawman theory is a belief relating to the legal position of a country’s citizens. The basis of the theory is related to the existence of birth certificates, and the way in which they are issued.

This page explains what the strawman theory is and how it is linked to birth certificates and other government issued documents.

What is the Strawman Theory?

The strawman theory is a conspiracy theory that is particularly popular in the United States. The theory suggests that each person has 2 versions of themselves: a physical version and a separate, legal version.

Followers of the Strawman theory often use it as an argument that a physical individual has no legal responsibilities. They believe that all debts, liabilities, taxes, and other legal obligations belong solely to the strawman version of that individual, and therefore have no real relevance to the actual person.

History of the Strawman Theory

The history of the strawman theory dates all the way back to Roman times. The ancient Romans adopted a legal practice of separating a citizen from their legal counterpart, known as capitis deminutio (“decrease of head”).

The practice had 3 levels of severity: capitis deminutio minima, capitis deminutio media, and capitis deminutio maxima. The least severe separating a person from their family, and the most severe involving loss of family, citizenship, and liberty.

This idea has grown throughout history and continued to reinforce the idea of a separate legal identity—now known as the strawman.

The Connection Between the Strawman Theory and Birth Certificates

Strawman theorists, also known as Freemen, use birth certificates to explain the theory of 2 different identities. They believe that you can meet your strawman by looking at your birth certificate.

US birth certificates and other vital records often state the name of the individual in capital letters. Theorists believe that this capitalized version does not represent the physical person, but a different version which only exists in legal terms.

Freemen argue that an individual cannot be legally recognized by these documents; that the capitalization is proof of a separate entity.

There is no real value in this theory—governments tend to print in capital letters simply for clarity. There are other similar myths surrounding birth certificates, such as the record acting as a bond, which are equally untrue.

The Strawman theory holds no true meaning in real legal proceedings; it is nothing more than a fallacy. However, this does not prevent people from attempting to use it to avoid legal responsibilities.

Strawman theorists often claim it on their tax returns, which is considered a frivolous argument by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Anyone who states the strawman theory on their tax returns is likely to be fined by the IRS.

There are also a number of court cases in the US where the accused have tried to use the strawman theory as their defense, despite the fact that it has never been recognized in US law. In fact, the theory is officially recognized in US law as a scam.

Fraudsters and the strawman theory

The strawman theory is sometimes used by fraudsters to take advantage of citizens who are in debt. The FBI recognizes anyone promoting the theory as a fraudster, and US citizens are warned to ignore any communication claiming that debt can be cleared using the theory.