Leon R. Koziol, J.D.
Parenting Rights Institute
Citizen Commission Against Corruption, Inc
Thomas Paine, Father of the American Revolution, is considered one of the greatest heroes in U.S. history. But given the absence of the term “whistleblowers” in the vocabulary of the 18th Century, could he also be considered the father of a whistleblower revolution underway today? A closer look at the little-known persecution he suffered following his controversial publications reveals incredible similarities to the retaliation suffered by today’s whistleblowers.
As a civil rights attorney, book publisher, and human rights activist, I am a prime example. Thomas Paine was forced to flee to Paris to escape an arrest warrant issued by the King of England for “seditious libel.” Like him, I was forced to flee to Paris due to an arrest warrant issued by a family judge ironically named Daniel “King.” But the rationale behind my warrant was far more egregious because it was based merely on a civil money debt known as “child support.” These “petty tyrants” of today known as family court judges dispense injustices over our children like never before, all without accountability, and based on an antiquated feudal doctrine carried over from England known as “Parens Patriae.”.
In my case, this judge, Daniel King of Lewis County, New York, not only removed all contact with my precious daughters on such orchestrated grounds as an “alcohol related gesture” (wedding toast), but together with other operatives he also removed all means for payment of that so-called “child support” by the indefinite suspensions of my law licenses, seizures of business accounts, vehicles for alternate employment, and my unblemished law practice over a 23-year period. King was himself removed from my case in 2016 after I obtained a show cause order against him to remove his gag order (disguised as a protection order) on my blog site.
Over time, this 12-year period of retaliation landed me in the emergency room for a life-threatening condition while reducing me to a pariah in my region of lifelong residency. My practice at the time featured important precedent, jury verdicts, and substantial recoveries to benefit African-Americans. One for $300,000 was obtained against the sheriff department which later enforced my warrant.
So if you’re a whistleblower, you’re in good company. Thomas Paine’s courageous publication of “Common Sense” in 1776 not only ignited the Revolutionary War, but it inspired a depleted army to stay committed throughout the many battles that followed. Indeed, George Washington read a passage from Paine’s lesser known “American Crisis” to his soldiers to stem the growing tide of desertion. This passage may have made the difference between winning or abandoning the cause of liberty that we take for granted today:
These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.
Rarely mentioned in Thomas Paine’s history is the fact that a future president of the United States managed to secure his release from a French prison and the fact that only six people showed up at his funeral in 1809. Two of them were “negroes” ever grateful for his writings that supported their freedom. In the end, Thomas Paine was abandoned by all his allies including George Washington himself, writing bitter publications as a consequence. It was said that those former allies were simply waiting for his death, much like many of mine are today, simply to be rid of a public critic. Paine’s pariah status late in life might also be explained by a general fear of being associated with such a controversial figure.
This is a typical price to be paid by those who exercise their rights of free speech in a self-governing society. My ordeal is a modern-day example of this captured in my recently published book, Whistleblower in Paris, and my blog site, http://www.leonkoziol.com. Like whistleblowers today, Thomas Paine exposed our new government for its defects. Accordingly, it bears emphasis that our highly vulnerable nation in 1776 was later made subject to the Constitution in 1787 after the Articles of Confederation proved to be a cancer to a “united” federal republic. Thomas Paine has been widely considered to be a confidential contributor to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.
Many years later the writer and orator Robert Ingersoll wrote:
Thomas Paine had passed the legendary limit of life. One by one most of his old friends and acquaintances had deserted him. Maligned on every side, execrated, shunned and abhorred – his virtues denounced as vices – his services forgotten – his character blackened, he preserved the poise and balance of his soul. He was a victim of the people, but his convictions remained unshaken. He was still a soldier in the army of freedom, and still tried to enlighten and civilize those who were impatiently waiting for his death. Even those who loved their enemies hated him, their friend – the friend of the whole world – with all their hearts.