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Odious and Cerberus: An American Immigrant’s Odyssey and his Free-Speech Legal War against Smithsonian Corruption
Recent court ruling nationalizes the once private Smithsonian Institution, creating conflict with the Separation of Powers Doctrine and the Public Meetings Act
— First Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK , UNITED STATES, August 31, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Congress in 1836 became the trustee of James Smithson’s fortune in gold. The gold, over half a million dollars in yesterday’s dollars, was the equivalent of millions in today’s money. This private fortune to be held in trust by Congress to create the Smithsonian Institution was immediately borrowed by Congress at 6% interest. Nearly a decade later, Congress finally started to build the Smithsonian in 1846, with the interest they owed on the borrowed gold from the late British subject and benefactor, James Smithson. Congress appointed a board of regents to oversee the fulfillment of the will of James Smithson to “…establish in Washington an institution for the increase and diffusion of knowledge” and to oversee the business of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Board of Regents, made up of unpaid appointees, including the vice-president, the chief justice as the Smithsonian chancellor, three members of the House and three members of the Senate, and members of the public, is one of the most secretive governing boards in Washington D.C. (Go to Twitter and search for the Smithsonian Board of Regents.) They never had to hold open, transparent public meetings where the beneficiaries, the taxpayer, or the press could witness how the never intended hundreds of millions of appropriated taxpayer funds would be distributed or even comment because the Smithsonian Institution was simply a private trust, not subject to the federal laws like the Open Meetings Act or even the Freedom of Information Act. Along the way, government creep and legal confusion initiated unintended appropriations, blurring the lines between the private and the public, something the Smithsonian’s first Secretary warned about back in 1848. Secretary Joseph Henry wrote in the Smithsonian’s charter that “2 The government of the United States is merely a trustee to carry out the design of the testator. 3. The institution is NOT a national establishment as is frequently supposed, but the establishment of an individual, and is to bear and perpetuate his name.” Henry’s warnings fell on deaf ears after his death.
Today, over 170 years later, the consequences of ignorance have corrupted the once clearly defined and separate private institution. So much so, in fact, that in the 2018 Federal Court ruling (Case No. 1:17-cv-01240 (TNM)) in the District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Trevor McFadden, legislating from the bench, citing no laws, created new law, going to the extreme of ignoring the original Smithsonian charter by nationalizing the institution to deprive artist Julian Raven of his First Amendment rights of free speech. Mcfadden’s Invented ratification theory ignored Chief Justices Taft and Warren Burger, declaring the Smithsonian “…is not and has never been a government bureau, it is a private organization under the guardianship of the government.” Disregarding the wisdom of the Chief Justices, Mcfadden nationalized the Smithsonian, ruling that “…even if “the increase and diffusion of knowledge” was originally a private goal, Congress ratified it.” The nationalizing of the private trust into a federal agency replaced private free speech with government speech “…deciding Mr. Raven’s speech claim because when the government speaks, the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause does not limit what it says.” The Smithsonian is no longer a misunderstood quasi-government organization but “…a government institution, through and through.” Mcfadden’s legislation went as far as to claim the Smithsonian Board of Regents was politically accountable to the electorate. Can you remember when you voted for anyone on any ballot who sits on the board of regents? Not even the separation of powers could prevent the magical ruling from blending the three separate branches of government who sit at the table of the Board of Regents. Because now the government agency was like an ancient Greek three-headed hell hound, by the name of Cerberus, according to McFadden’s words!
This new nationalized status of the Smithsonian Institution has created its own set of problems for the once secretive Smithsonian Board of Regents. Mr. Raven’s latest reform initiative invokes the Open Meetings Act, with which every government agency should be bound. In the past, the private Smithsonian entity avoided scrutiny by the public and the press at their private board meetings when deliberating on how to spend the 700 Million Dollars of appropriated taxpayer dollars. The board of regents, at their discretion, would slide a copy of the minutes under the door for the outside world to examine, barring them from any comment, input, or objection to their planned spending sprees.
The Board of Regents has been put on notice via a letter sent on August 22, 2022. This included a copy of Raven’s book ‘Odious and Cerberus: An American Immigrant’s Odyssey and his Free-Speech Legal War Against Smithsonian Corruption’ which details the corruption at the Smithsonian Institution and the ruling nationalization of the institution. Raven has also invited the Board of Regents to initiate their own self-correcting act of compelling Congress to amend the Smithsonian Act of 1846, clarifying the confusing legal status once and for all. The Board of Regents, in its present conference, is presiding over these distortions of law. Now that the Board of Regents has been informed, the fiduciary duty that binds them to the Smithson trust should compel them to act to vindicate James Smithson, the original benefactor, the trust laws that reach back nearly a thousand years to the Magna Carta and the U.S. Constitution.
The Board’s failure to act, opening their board meeting to the public and the press, will ensure continued litigation, confusion, and violation of the separation of powers doctrine surrounding and defining the configuration of the three branches of the federal government in the United States constitution.
Julian Raven’s book ‘Odious and Cerberus: An American Immigrant’s Odyssey and his Free-Speech Legal War Against Smithsonian Corruption’ is available at Amazon, Barnes, And Noble, and through all major book retailers.
Smithsonian Board of Regents Reform Initiative Exposing Corruption in New Book By Julian Raven