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Did you know the British government kidnapped children? On one level How To Vanish is just a fun way to legally hack the system and try and beat the house. On another level, it can be used as a tool to save money and prevent money from being taken. At the most important level it is a tool to help people avoid the loss of fundamental freedoms and to keep families secure and free from forces that would separate them, including blackmail, kidnapping, and other serious crimes. I recently came across an example which falls into the last category.
Megan Coote and Carissa Smith are two British women who had similar problems. Both were expectant mothers and both were at risk of British social services taking (kidnapping) their babies once they were born, so they both relocated to Spain. British authorities declared Ms. Coote to be unable to keep her child because she had a low IQ and had an inability to show emotion. After learning that England would not allow a mother like this keep her children, Ms. Cootes parents offered to act as foster parents to their grandchild. They were rejected because Mr. Coote had previously smacked his children to discipline them, like many people old enough to be grandparents used to do. Similarly, the Brits decided that Ms. Smiths kidnapped children were more happy than they would have been with their mother because she was diagnosed as narcissistic. Thus, if you are a celebrity in England and have, or are thinking of having children, pay very close attention.
I have no knowledge of the details of the diagnoses and I dont condone child abuse, but it seems that there was no real risk of immediate harm to the children and, even if there was, other responsible family members who were capable of preventing harm were available to help.
While in Spain, British authorities caught up to Ms. Smith while she was still in the hospital after having her baby and took her baby away from her. I dont know how England still had the authority for the baby kidnapping while she was still in Spain, but they found a way. Ms. Coote, on the other hand, was not bothered by the British while in Spain. Here is what Ms. Smith could have done, where legal, to avoid having her family torn apart.
Leave Territorial Jurisdiction
In the case of these women, both moved to Spain. Becoming a resident of another jurisdiction can be a good way to escape arbitrary and unjust legal action. This increases the resources needed to enforce an arbitrary law and acts as a second opinion. Law enforcement is less concerned with the re-election statistics of another jurisdiction, prefers to spend their budget on their own problems and will avoid enforcing laws that they dont like. The precious law enforcement resources will only be allocated if the local jurisdiction is convinced it is compelling. Plus, the chances of the two jurisdictions sharing information is less likely, especially if it is across national borders. Unless it is illegal to flee the jurisdiction, this can be a powerful option all by itself. It was at least sufficient for Ms. Coote. There is even the possibility of crossing multiple borders to make it harder for the kidnappers to follow the Pampers trail.
Keep Physical Address Private
England eventually found out about the whereabouts of Ms. Smith. Using ghost addresses when checking into the hospital, staying with friends, renting or purchasing a property in trust could help to keep your actual physical location from being known. It is hard to kidnap your baby if they cant find your baby. And I dont recommend hiding your baby in a reed basket and sending it down the Nile.
Avoid Using Public Services
In this case Ms. Smith went to the hospital to have her baby. It was there that the British government found her. Having your name vanish from hospital records is a hard trick to perform. It is hard to go off the grid for serious medical procedures. There are a few options, but some people might rather take their chances with simple jurisdiction hopping. Avoiding the hospital and using a service like a mid-wife is an alternative, but it might not be for everyone. Going to a country that doesnt have electronic medical records which can be searched by government officials is another alternative. I bet 4 out of 5 doctors would not recommend leaving the hospital right away so be sure to follow your doctors advice on how long to stay, but I would hope you dont linger longer than necessary.
Where it is not illegal to do so, using these techniques and the others found in the book How To Vanish can be used to prevent being subject to laws which destroy families and will hopefully reduce the number of kidnapped children. You probably want to ask your lawyer the consequences of similar actions in your own case before taking any action. These, and other tips in How To Vanish may be useful to help save some money, or even your family. Using anonymous prepaid credit cards, anonymous web surfing, and other techniques can prevent disclosures that lead to serious consequences.
Reprinted with permission from How to Vanish.
Bill Rounds, J.D. is a California attorney. He holds a degree in Accounting from the University of Utah and a law degree from California Western School of Law. He practices civil litigation, domestic and foreign business entity formation and transactions, criminal defense and privacy law. He is a strong advocate of personal and financial freedom and civil liberties.