Second Citizenship: 1,000 Reasons for Americans to Consider It

March 19, 2013

By: Paul C. Seymour, Dir. of Client Services

As common sense becomes LESS common, and as our legal system morphs into a chapter out of “Catch 22”, second citizenship goes from some extravagant idea, to a very practical solution rather quickly.

Second Citizenship: 1,000 ReasonsReason #1:  Believe it or not, the majority of Americans don’t even have a passport. With no frame of reference, they have no clue how small their boxes are.  Notice, first of all, the title reads second citizenship, rather than second passport.  We receive numerous requests for second passports from Americans (We refer them to our friends at The Dollar Vigilante, as we don’t do that at GWP).  We’ve never received such requests from a national of any other country.  I’ve heard a couple of Brits (of the 51st State variety) complain, but never request how to obtain a 2nd citizenship.  Many Americans, however, seem almost desperate in their search. The ultimate goal is not to gain a travel document from a free country, but rather live in, and be the citizen of, a country that makes basic common sense to you based upon your values.  One in which the basic culture, and therefore the laws of the land, are that which you can understand, respect, and effortlessly comply with.

Reason #2:  It always makes me cringe a bit when I see a request for a “passport”.  It drives home the point which I tried to make in the article (citizen vs subject), where I discussed the current US governmental trend to reduce free travel to a “privilege”, rather than what it really is – a basic human right.  The campaign to wash the collective brain of US subjects is obvious: convince them to adopt the concept that the once coveted, and introductory travel document known as the US passport, is now a travel license.  If successful, the basic freedom to choose when, where and why you want to travel, work, live etc. in any location you choose, becomes a privilege which the current tyrannical government in Washington can grant, or take away, on a whim.

In fact, right now, unelected bureaucrats at the IRS, DHS, ICE, FBI and/or DoS can eliminate that basic freedom of movement with the stroke of a computer key, and without any due process.  The people actually pulling the strings in Washington are not stupid either, despite outward appearances.  Actually, I think they are far from it.  So, I sometimes wonder what their real endgame is.  If I were a conspiracy theorist, I might be tempted to suppose that the course of action since the Wall came down, might be to drive a few million of the most pioneering, freedom-loving, and hard core capitalist types out of America.  Spreading them around the globe as another phase in the project to achieve world-wide hegemony.  Therefore we’re doing their work for free.  But I’m not a conspiracy theorist, so forget I just said that.

But nonetheless, this alone provides a compelling argument for freedom-cherishing individuals to look for a jurisdiction which actually respects personal freedom, rather than just paying lip service to it.  Also, look for a country where the government would never consider trying to control when or where a citizen travels.  The former America is arguably now so completely broken that any hope of saving it seems like a pipe dream – an Afghan opium pipe, that is.

Perhaps you, like a few million others, have also arrived at that logical conclusion, and would simply like to leave and take your family to a place where the values and culture make more sense to you.  It’s possible you won’t be able to do so, based on the current laws in Washington.  Those laws, coupled with the complete disregard for the most basic of human rights, once guaranteed by the Constitution, make me afraid to even return for a visit, for fear I may be unable to get out again.  That substantiated fear is why I sometimes refer to it as the “Iron Curtain” of cold war infamy.  (Wow.  As a kid, I never thought I’d be making such an analogy.  Ever.)

Over the last 16 years, I’ve traveled and lived in numerous countries where basic common sense still reigns supreme.  Unfortunately, that refers to a majority of countries outside the US.  In a country like that, one can correctly assume that if you’re not directly harming anyone, then you’re not breaking any local laws.  After living in the post 1970’s USSA, that comes as a huge relief.  It just makes a guy feel free and able to breathe.  To give a very simple example: walking down the street with a beer in your hand without even attracting a stray glance, let alone the attention of a cop who’s forgotten his mission to protect and serve.

Reason #3: The “Land of the Free” has more people in jail than either China or India – maybe more than both combined.  This is not on a per capita basis, but in absolute numbers, and China’s population is FOUR times that of the US.  According to US propaganda, China is a totalitarian state upon which Americans should look down due to their human rights record.  An odd criticism considering the typical abuse (or worse) that occurs in American prisons.  A critical thinking person should be at least slightly concerned.

Take a look at this BBC documentary on torture in American prisons.  I urge you to watch at least the first five minutes before reading on.  Only in America do they throw hard working accountants in shit holes like this for committing victimless traffic offenses.  In what condition do decent, harmless people emerge after a few years in a place like that?  Could it be considered a kind of death sentence, knowing that the person who goes in stands no chance of coming out in the same state of mind, but rather condemned to a far worse one?

Interestingly, while the Brits – and people of other civilized cultures in general – admonish the inhumane activity occurring in US prisons, the vast majority of United Statians are completely unconcerned(As “America” is essentially no more, I’ve coined a new term.  It’ll make my fellow Latin Americans happy as well.)  No wonder the Brits refused to extradite the teenager accused of retransmitting something over the internet: a felony according to US law, but completely legal in the EU.

Rather than a second passport, I suggest seeking to live in a country where the majority of people think primarily like you do: at least on some basic, but important, topics.  A place where people find it completely unconscionable to throw a dedicated professional into an institution where torture, rape and even murder are common.  If you told a Colombian, for example, that this routinely happens in the US, they’d be incredulous.  If it wouldn’t happen in Colombia, how could it happen in a country like the USA?  Hmmmm.  Difficult to answer, isn’t it?

Reason #4: You might also consider citizenship of a country where the government would never consider taking your hard-earned money in the form of taxes while you were living somewhere else.  The reason that citizenship based taxation is absurd is that while living outside the US one is unable to enjoy any of the benefits that the government purports to provide with those tax dollars.  That by the way, is absolutely any other country in the world outside the US.  Well, steer clear of Eritrea as well, which is next door to Somalia.  There, like in Washington, a subject is legally required to pay taxes even if they’ve decided they can’t stomach the culture nor way of life anymore, and therefore live and work in a different country.  An expat group in Geneva, called American Citizens Abroad (ACA) is trying to get the US to break away from their Eritrean role models, and align with the rest of the world by taxing based on residency, rather than citizenship.

Stateless American or Reasons #5 – #1,000

I became obsessed with becoming a citizen of another country after a culminating, straw-breaking-the-camel’s-back, type of event.  At that point, it didn’t really matter which other country, because I considered any other country to be better.  The one event that compelled me to sacrifice just about everything to get out, happened in 2001.  I had accepted complete responsibility for my actions behind the wheel, which never resulted in property damage nor personal harm, and was likewise accepting my economic exile from the USA.  I was quite happily expatriating, in fact, feeling quite free and like I had been done a great favor.  Then, suddenly, my ability to leave and live in peace was being threatened as well.  What? I can neither stay and be left alone, nor leave and be left in peace?  Bull shit.  I went over the edge.

This is difficult to share.  For years I couldn’t discuss the whole situation due to the stress it caused me, but in the words of Captain Hawkeye Pierce—“time wounds all heals”.  I think he also said, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy” (or was that Groucho?), but I digress.   In fact, coupled with the other events unfolding at the same time, I actually incurred a minor dose of PTSD.

Well, long story short, looking at a felony conviction, and 4 years at Raiford (one of the highlighted institutions in the BBC documentary referred to above), it was an easy decision.  I equated going to Raiford with death.  I’m not a criminal, and could not handle that kind of cesspool.  When faced with death, a guy will do whatever’s necessary.

More painful background: With my driving privileges revoked – which subsequently stifled my ability to provide for both my former and current families, I took a 3-year contract as an auditor with PwC in Saudi Arabia.  I made a deal with the ex-wife whereby she and my daughter could live at my house, rent-free, in lieu of the $800 monthly child support.  She accepted, and moved in.  Upon my arrival in Saudi Arabia, she demanded more money.  I refused.  She made it impossible for me to communicate with my 9 year-old daughter, or have her with me in the summer.  I broke the contract with PwC and went back to the US: without a driver license nor any money.  You can only imagine (I hope) how stressful it is driving unlicensed to and from work every day, knowing that if some near blind, blue-haired old lady with 7 accidents on her record (but driving legally) rear-ends you at a traffic light, you’re going directly to jail.  But simultaneously aware that, if you don’t drive, and therefore don’t work, in addition to losing your home and possessions, you go directly to jail for not paying child support.

Upon somehow incredibly landing a job as my last dollar ran out, the ex soon then dragged me to court for unpaid child support: the additional amount she had previously requested after I went to Saudi.  She testified truthfully that she had lived at my house rent-free in lieu of receiving child support.  The judge, however, said I never paid anything during the 18 months in Saudi, and therefore labeled me a “dead-beat dad”.  That amounted to a grand total of $14,000 in “unpaid” child support.  The County Clerk, unbeknownst to me at the time, then added a usurious $4,000 of interest to it, put a lien on my house, and reported the balance to the Department of State under US law.

Just as I started wondering why the hell I had returned to that hell-hole, in 2001, my firm’s revenues starting to decline, and I got laid off.  With prospects very dim, and money running out, I went out with a racing buddy.  One thing led to another, hence the afore mentioned felony charge. Once ashamed of it all, I have long since realized – based on personal experience around the world – this kind of stuff only happens in the US.  In fact, I now realize that Americans should feel ashamed for allowing their country to become such a police state.  Save for a few parking tickets here in Colombia, I’ve never had a single problem in 15 years driving, a la Paul, in Saudi, UAE, France, Thailand, Australia, Perú, Colombia nor Vietnam.

Anyway, back to 2001 and sudden unemployment, and other problems.  With time running out, and desperation setting in, I received a call from my biggest audit client back in Riyadh.  A sweet offer was tendered and promptly accepted… and back to Saudi we go.  You can’t even imagine my feeling of relief as my new boss drove me from the Riyadh airport to my new villa.  I truly felt like I had just barely escaped from the jaws of death.  Keep in mind, I never harmed a soul, nor even considered it.   I was just in the former America at the wrong era of its great history.  Believe it or not, at that point, I still wasn’t bent on second citizenship, but wait, the real shit is about to hit the fan.

I decided there was nothing back in the States I needed, nor even wanted.  My daughter was already poisoned against me (despite how close we once were); the rest of my family, outside of my Dad, was dead; and my Colombian/Swiss wife was glad to get out as well, as she truly hated the American lifestyle.  I began liquidating all hard assets into cash, including putting my house up for sale.

At the time, I was the Assistant Regional Controller for the Middle East and Africa of a very large American multinational.  My wife was back in the States trying to sell the house and everything else that couldn’t be realistically dragged around the world.  I had already sold the race car, truck and trailer.  After a few months, everything, but the house, was sold, so I had her return to Colombia, while I worked on my visa and hers.  The agent could handle the house.

One day, the agent calls, telling me a document needed notarizing, and it could only be done at the US Embassy.  I took the document to the embassy, for a $75 notary.  They asked for my passport. I handed it over.  Some guy came back 10-15 minutes later with a page and a half long letter explaining that, due to my child support arrears of $18,000, I was now a stateless United Statian, and handed back my passport with holes punched in it.  I assumed it was a mistake.  It had to be a mistake… but alas it wasn’t.

The sudden reality was, as of June 2001, I was an illegal alien in Saudi Arabia.  In danger of deportation back to the USSA and losing the job I desperately needed.  I was trapped on my combination work/residential compound.  I was unable to even drive to the grocery store as it greatly increased the risk of deportation.  If for any reason I needed to present my ID, I only had my defaced passport.  I hope that you’ve never experienced a similar stress level such as I was at this point.  I still clearly remember my unsympathetic United Statian boss laughing and calling me “a man without a country”.  If it hadn’t been true, I might have laughed along with him.  I remember asking the Saudi government relations officer at my company if anything could be done.  He looked over and asked me if I had a second passport.  All I could do was shake my head no.  He put his head back down and went back to work.  The obvious decision was therefore made.

During the next six months it took me to sell my house and pay the ransom, a couple of planes with nineteen Saudi hijackers on board flew into some buildings back in the States.  The next day at the office (60% Saudi workforce) was strange to say the least.  One might even say that the US government had further endangered my life by effectively trapping me on my Riyadh compound under such circumstances.

I slumped out of that experience knowing that no amount of material possessions would be worth anything as long as I was under the thumb of such a fascist-leaning government. Freedom is everything.  What other country would do that to a citizen?  North Korea maybe?  I once read Hitler and Stalin had taught Washington how to maintain tyranny: pass so many laws that practically everyone is a potential criminal, and then enforcement becomes arbitrary and political.

As a result, 8 years later, and after foregoing about $1 million in lost wages, I’m a proud Colombian citizen, and feel much, much better.

One last, quick point:  I seriously doubt any of our readers is a reptilian-like whistle-blower creature, but we always have 1-2 stray freaks on board at any given moment.  You’re free to search, but the traffic violation charges were dropped long ago.  Perhaps “they” realized, after so many years having Paul out of the country, that the streets of the US could be declared safe again.  Therefore you won’t find my likeness on the wall of the soon-to-be-defunct Post Office either. With indefinite detention, a President who authorizes himself to execute Americans (let alone Colombians) without trial, and drones all newly in play, the least of my worries is an ancient victimless traffic offense.  I await the drone to pull up outside my window and put a bullet in my brain for exercising my now non-existent First Amendment rights to free speech and political dissent.

This installment wraps up my series on why Americans should consider seeking a second citizenship.  While I’m absolutely certain that some of you smirked, shook your heads, and feel confident that something like all of this could never happen to you, make that false assumption at your own peril.  For those of you who correctly deduce, “if it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone”, I say—courage is contagious, go ahead and grow a pair, and


Paul Carleton Seymour

10 thoughts on “Second Citizenship: 1,000 Reasons for Americans to Consider It”

  1. For subprime borrowers, refinancing was not a choice made
    at their discretion, as it’s with prime loans. They acquired a new subprime loan, doubling the
    requirement and the cost of refinancing. The refinance requirement was the function that distinguished
    these loans from prime or old subprime loans. Subprime loans were financed via advanced securitization structures, with multiple levels
    of risk spread over many events. It was this want for fast
    market appreciation that made their funding a very high threat
    – in reality, doomed to failure. Yet, nobody at any level appeared to understand how dependent subprime loans were on market appreciation.

  2. Wow… Thats an eye opener story Paul.. Sorry to hear of your troubles..

    …I wonder how Columbia is… Would you have chosen there if not for wife..?

  3. Unfortunately stories like this are becoming quite commonplace. I am an accountant also. I have my own story that is frighteningly similar.

    I lost my license in my mid-twenties for a full year when I was the controller of a construction company … not due to drinking and driving. Not even due to any driving infraction – had a totally clean record. It was due to an unrelated infraction in another state from almost 10 years prior when I was a teenager. I went to a friend’s party one weekend. The police came and put everyone in the entire house in jail and charged everyone with underage drinking regardless whether you were drinking or not. Fight it in court right? So I did, hired a lawyer. They got the cop on the stand, asked him whether he saw me with a drink, asked whether he smelled alcohol on my breath … no, no. Do you have any reason at all to believe my client was drinking the night of whatever date? No. We rest our case. Thee judge comes back with her verdict – guilty as charged. I didn’t have money to appeal the rather blatantly horrible ruling. The ruling was made because I did not take the stand. So even with a judge, in the United States, you are always guilty as charged unless you can prove otherwise. No breath tests were given to charge anyone. Driver’s license suspended almost ten years later without cause for that. So you think, fine, will get a provisional hardship license to get to work … nope they can only issue that if the suspension is due to something that occurs within the state, the law made no provision if the charge came from out of state.

    So I make it a year without getting pulled over, had no other choice to get to work and make a living. Years later, moved fifteen minutes away to a new county but didn’t get my DL switch over in time which also dictates voter registration in that state. A committee person told me to just request an absentee ballot. So I explained the situation and asked if I could get an absentee ballot. Basically they said to just explain my situation when I went to vote. Went to vote, explained my situation and asked if I could vote. They eventually came back and told me I can’t. I ask why? They tell me because they said so. I asked to speak with whomever made that determination. Talked to the supervisor of elections and he invites me to come to his office to review the voting laws of why I can’t vote. Read them all – there is an exception to handle every possible circumstance, whether a change of name or change of address, whether moving to a different county or a different state or whether out of the country, all covered. I said that’s all great, but I don’t see anywhere that I am not allowed to vote my one vote and go over the provisions with him. I said it seems like the only questions is whether I should vote there or the other county. He finally allows me to vote there because that is where I am registered to vote. Six months later I get a knock on my front door. I open the door … and am arrested for questioning a government official about our rights as citizens of the U.S. Since there were no laws that pertained to what I did, they charged me with a random felony used for people who are blatantly and fraudulently trying to vote multiple times. My jail mug shot makes the six o’clock news for everyone in my community to see that I am a ‘criminal’ along with a story made up based upon what I was charged with rather than anything to do with reality. Moral of the story, don’t fight too hard for your rights as an American citizen. You have the right to remain silent and that’s about it these days, anything else could get you in trouble.

    Anyway, I could go on, about me, about people I know. There are seemingly endless stories of the government making ‘criminals’ out of it’s most patriotic of citizens.

    Oh, one last point – was working for a company on an audit, put in six months of hard work to straighten out the mess of their prior staff. Finally get the audit to completion and a big four firm is about to sign off on it. They run background checks on the officers of the company including me as the CFO, standard procedure. Guess who gets called into a rather uncomfortable meeting? Yeah, me. Because I was charged with a felony prior they couldn’t sign off on the audit. Even though the charge didn’t stick, in the private sector you are guilty as charged also. Guess how much longer that job lasted … yeah, exactly.

    Another friend of mine, also an accountant, worked for a hedge fund that invested in a company where the CEO was fraudulently billing medicare duplicate billings and such. When problems arose, he didn’t know what to tell them but to take care of it as they got themselves into whatever mess it was. So the other company is obviously being investigated. The CEO plays dumb, pretends it is all the parent company’s fault, and offers the feds a ‘bigger fish’ to fry in exchange for his immunity. Smart guy actually. So he gets immunity and they tap the parent company’s phone lines and repeatedly hound my friend to try to entrap him into a crime. In retrospect he thought it was really odd the hounding. Long story short, he was indicted by the FBI, apparently one of the houndings worked and they entrapped him into some kind of technical crime … meanwhile the real perp has full immunity. You have to understand, my friend is the nicest, most honest family guy, yet another accountant, with a wife and two young kids who would bend over backwards to help anyone that needed it. Anyway, FBI tells him he can either plea bargain to one count of wire fraud or whatever it was … or they will charge him with like 20 counts if it goes to trial. So his choices were 1) bankrupt his family with legal costs ($500k estimate) and drag them through hell with a prolonged trial in which the FBI has a 98% conviction rate meaning his children may lose their dad if he tries to fight it … think anyone has a right to a speedy trial in America, think again … or 2) take one count of fraud which is a felony and hope for no jail time. The U.S. justice system cares very little about justice – if a crime is committed they just care about making an arrest no matter who it is and they already gave the perp immunity. So he takes the one count for his family, has his reputation destroyed, and is stripped of his CPA license which is how he makes a living for his family. He isn’t given any jail time because by this point the feds realize he’s not a big fish, or even a little fish criminal for that matter, he’s just a guy at the bottom of the totem pole of people they can actually charge with something at this point. So he is placed under house arrest and has to wear an ankle alarm thing for a year around his kids and wife. I can’t say I feel any safer.

    So long story shorter, I eventually moved out of the country … being a law abiding citizen who thought about joining the Air Force, then applied to join the FBI and was a committee person in my younger years, I just don’t feel safe there.

    Last story … another guy I know really well – a professional also, business analyst around 50 years old, would never hurt a soul, never been arrested in his entire life – gets cut off by some guy that blew through a stop sign and almost caused an accident with him. He follows the car to the next stoplight. Light is red, he gets out of his car to yell at the guy. He walks up to the other car, when he gets there the other guy is sitting there with his window down pointing a gun at him. He’s never had someone point a gun at him point blank, he freaks out and just instinctually tries to control the gun to prevent getting shot. The guy in the car who was driving recklessly shoots him and drives away leaving the scene of a crime. Guess what happens? You think the guy in the car would get charged and be given a breathalizer, etc. Well at least that’s what I thought. Nope. Cops come out to write up report and my friend gets sent to the hospital. They won’t take the bullet out because he didn’t have health insurance. They eventually put a bandaid on him and send him on his way with a few thousand dollar bill … expensive bandaid. He’s home for a few days and he gets a knock on his door. It’s the police. Not there to talk to him about the incident, there to arrest him. We have a law to prevent people from assaulting other people in their cars called burglary. If your window is down and someone comes up and randomly punches you in the face while you are in your car, they get charged with burglary. So the guy in the other car was an ex-cop … cops get professional courtesy. Again, cops don’t care who goes to jail as long as someone does. Instead of arresting the cop for pulling a gun when they didn’t fear for their life or great bodily injury and escalating a situation, they arrested the other guy, my friend with this burglary charge which was made for criminals, not my friend. Because a gun was ‘involved’, even though it is not his gun and he had no intent to harm the other person, they charged him with aggravated burglary. So for being a good samaritan who wants people to not drive recklessly in our community, he was now in jail facing a life sentence in prison instead of the other guy due to the professional courtesy code among cops.

    And that’s the United States as it is now. And no matter the injustice, no one in any important office wants to hear about them or do anything about them. Land of the free? Only until you have a brush with a government official or fight for anything you believe in. Sorry for the long comment!

    1. It’s amazing some of the stories I read and hear. I see people who pose NO threat to society whatsoever being railroaded, while political cronies continue to rip us off and destroy lives without so much as a slap on the wrist! Thank you for sharing your story here! Never apologize. People NEED to see and hear about this stuff… tie REAL people to these tales… this is not just some odd occurrence. This is becoming normal!

  4. Wow! I was so captivated by your story and your loss, I am going through something similar with creditors, so am in the process of liquidation. “if it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone.” ~ aint that the truth! So glad you were able to get your Columbian passport. I am in Australia and considering a 2nd passport right now, may just come to the next Escape Hatch to get a fair idea of what country to choose.

  5. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to “return
    the favor”.I’m trying to find things to improve my
    web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  6. I drop a comment each time I appreciate a article on a site or I
    have something to valuable to contribute to the conversation.
    It’s caused by the sincerness communicated in the post I looked at. And after this post Second Citizenship: 1,000 Reasons for Americans to Consider It. I was moved enough to drop a leave a responsea response ;) I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind. Could it be just me or do a few of the remarks come across like coming from brain dead people? :-P And, if you are posting at other sites, I’d
    like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post.
    Could you make a list every one of all your public pages like
    your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  7. Makes me thankful I am a dual (I have a non-United-Statian nationality), and worried I am a dual (I still have United-Statian nationality).Thanks for this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction account!

  8. What a brave piece to write and I empathize with you all the way. Thank you for your excellent work and (although I doubt this helps), your terrible experiences and pains are helping to encourage and support people like me, who also want ‘real’ freedom. I sincerely look forward to the day I can afford to get the hell outta dodge. Congratulations on your new life and please keep up the great work!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top



Privacy Policy: We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe.


Enter your name and email to get immediate access to my 7-part video series where I explain all the benefits of having your own Global IRA… and this information is ABSOLUTELY FREE!