John W. Whitehead


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book The Freedom Wars (TRI Press) is available online at amazon.com. The Rutherford Institute is available at rutherford.org

Most Recent Articles by John W. Whitehead:

A Week in the Life of the American Police State

Jun 20, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

“Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse.”—Adlai Stevenson, 23rd Vice President of the United States

If you’ve been caught up in the circus that is the presidential election, you’ve likely missed the latest news about all the ways in which the government continues to erode our freedoms, undermine our sovereignty, abuse our trust, invade our homes, invade our privacy, destroy our property, hijack our bank accounts, and generally render itself above the law.

Then again, this is all par for the course from a militaristic government that is armed to the teeth, wages war against its own people, imprisons its citizens for profit, marches in lockstep with the corporate elite, and treats human beings as little more than cattle to be branded, bought, sold and butchered.


From Democracy to Pathocracy: The Rise of the Political Psychopath

Mar 29, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths. I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this… That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow - but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one.”-Dr. Martha Stout, clinical psychologist and former instructor at Harvard Medical School

Twenty years ago, a newspaper headline asked the question: “What’s the difference between a politician and a psychopath?


Fascism, American Style

Mar 21, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

“If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States.” ― Henry A. Wallace, 33rd Vice President of the United States

This is an indictment of every politician who has ever sold us out for the sake of money and power, it is a condemnation of every politician who has ever lied to us in order to advance their careers, and it is a denunciation of every political shill who has sacrificed our freedoms on the altar of Corporate America.


America’s Gestapo: The FBI’s Reign of Terror

Mar 14, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.”—President Harry S. Truman

Don’t Be a Puppet” is the message the FBI is sending young Americans.


Just Shut Up and Vote

Mar 7, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

“That’s the way the ruling class operates in any society. They keep the lower and the middle classes fighting with each other… Anything different—that’s what they’re gonna talk about—race, religion, ethnic and national background, jobs, income, education, social status, sexuality, anything they can do to keep us fighting with each other, so that they can keep going to the bank!”—Comedian George Carlin

“We the people” have been utterly and completely betrayed.


The Age of Authoritarianism

Feb 22, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

“I was astonished, bewildered. This was America, a country where, whatever its faults, people could speak, write, assemble, demonstrate without fear. It was in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. We were a democracy… But I knew it wasn't a dream; there was a painful lump on the side of my head…


The People vs. the Police State: The Struggle for Justice in the Supreme Court

Feb 16, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The untimely death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has predictably created a political firestorm.


Gaming Spectacles Designed to Keep the Police State in Power

Feb 2, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.—Professor Neil Postman

If there are two spectacles that are almost guaranteed to render Americans passive viewers, incapable of doing little more than cheering on their respective teams, it’s football and politics—specifically, the Super Bowl and the quadrennial presidential election.


Circus Politics: Will Our Freedoms Survive Another Presidential Election?

Jan 26, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

“Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest—forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries.” ― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Adding yet another layer of farce to an already comical spectacle, the 2016 presidential election has been given its own reality show. Presented by Showtime, The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth will follow the various presidential candidates from now until Election Day.


The State of the Nation: A Dictatorship Without Tears

Jan 11, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”—Aldous Huxley

There’s a man who contacts me several times a week to disagree with my assessments of the American police state. According to this self-avowed Pollyanna who is tired of hearing “bad news,” the country is doing just fine, the government’s intentions are honorable, anyone in authority should be blindly obeyed, those individuals who are being arrested, shot and imprisoned must have done something to deserve such treatment, and if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t care whether the government is spying on you.


Playing the Government’s Game: When It Comes to Violence, We All Lose

Jan 4, 2016 — John W. Whitehead

“When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”—John Lennon

Yes, the government is corrupt.


What’s in Store for Our Freedoms in 2016? More of Everything We Don’t Want

Dec 28, 2015 — John W. Whitehead

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”—George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Vol. 1

In Harold Ramis’ classic 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, TV weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) is forced to live the same day over and over again until he not only gains some insight into his life but changes his priorities.


Reclaiming the Christmas Spirit: Ten Great Christmas Movies to Help You Shake the Police State Blues

Dec 14, 2015 — John W. Whitehead

What a turbulent year it’s been.

For those of us who have managed to survive 2015 with our lives intact and our freedoms hanging by a thread, it has been a year of crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns.


Does Fear Lead to Fascism? A Culture of Fear and the Epigenetics of Terror

Dec 7, 2015 — John W. Whitehead

No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.”—Edward R. Murrow, broadcast journalist

America is in the midst of an epidemic of historic proportions.


To France from a Post-9/11 America: Lessons We Learned Too Late

Nov 23, 2015 — John W. Whitehead

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”—Benjamin Franklin

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”—Hermann Goering, German military commander and Hitler’s designated successor

For those who remember when the first towers fell on 9/11, there is an unnerving feeling of déjà vu about the Paris attacks.


The Deep State: The Unelected Shadow Government Is Here to Stay

Nov 10, 2015 — John W. Whitehead

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”—Theodore Roosevelt

America’s next president will inherit more than a bitterly divided nation teetering on the brink of financial catastrophe when he or she assumes office. He will also inherit a shadow government, one that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country.

To be precise, however, the future president will actually inherit not one but two shadow governments.


Fear of the Walking Dead: The American Police State Takes Aim

Oct 26, 2015 — John W. Whitehead

“Fear is a primitive impulse, brainless as hunger, and because the aim of horror fiction is the production of the deepest kinds of fears, the genre tends to reinforce some remarkably uncivilized ideas about self-protection. In the current crop of zombie stories, the prevailing value for the beleaguered survivors is a sort of siege mentality, a vigilance so constant and unremitting that it’s indistinguishable from the purest paranoia.”—Terrence Rafferty, New York Times

The zombies are back. They are hungry. And they are lurking around every corner.


Things Are Getting Scary: Global Police, Precrime and the War on Domestic ‘Extremists’

Oct 20, 2015 — John W. Whitehead

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the police.


Public School Students Are the New Inmates in the American Police State

Oct 12, 2015 — John W. Whitehead

“Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that have increasingly come to resemble places of detention more than places of learning. From metal detectors to drug tests, from increased policing to all-seeing electronic surveillance, the public schools of the twenty-first century reflect a society that has become fixated on crime, security and violence.”—Investigative journalist Annette Fuentes

In the American police state, you’re either a prisoner (shackled, controlled, monitored, ordered about, limited in what you can do and say, your life not your own) or a prison bureaucrat (police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, etc.).


‘Minority Report’ Is 40 Years Ahead of Schedule: The Fictional World Has Become Reality

Sep 28, 2015 — John W. Whitehead

“The Internet is watching us now. If they want to. They can see what sites you visit. In the future, television will be watching us, and customizing itself to what it knows about us. The thrilling thing is, that will make us feel we’re part of the medium. The scary thing is, we’ll lose our right to privacy. An ad will appear in the air around us, talking directly to us.”--Director Steven Spielberg, Minority Report

We are a scant 40 years away from the futuristic world that science fiction author Philip K. Dick envisioned for Minority Report in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams will crack a few skulls to bring the populace under control.

Unfortunately, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we may have already arrived at the year 2054.