Larken Rose


Larken D. Rose attended a two-year college, then worked as a gardener until he married Tessa David, who had her own business transcribing medical records. Rose was helping her with her business when he began developing his "section 861 argument" and materials explaining and promoting that argument.

Rose is a self-described anarchist, who has written in private correspondence (introduced into evidence as a criminal trial) that "I don't actually like the Constitution" because it gives too much power to politicians," and that "I feel no obligation to obey" the law.

Theories Advocated/Promoted

Rose is the best-known advocate of the "section 861 argument", claiming that the regulations promulgated under Subchapter N of Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code show that only income from foreign source is taxable. Rose supports that argument by claiming that, under the Constitution, Congress can tax only foreign income.

Books, Web Sites, Videos, and Organizations

Rose maintains, or has collaborated in maintaining, a number of different web sites, including,, and (more recently)

Rose explains his theories in a book/pamphlet "Taxable Income," which he makes freely available through his web sites.

Rose has also created a video, "Theft by Deception," which he has sold as both a VHS tape and a digital CD.

While in prison, Rose wrote another book, "How to be a Successful Tyrant," which he himself subtitles as "The Megalomaniac Manifesto," and which is basically nothing but a long rant about what he views as the amorality and illegitimacy of the legal system that put him in prison. Since being released from prison, Rose has written two more books, Kicking the Dragon and The Iron Web, the latter of which he admits is fiction.

Court Actions

Larken Rose stopped filing federal income tax returns in 1998 and began publicly asking the government to prosecute him in 2001. He was unable to convince a jury that he believed in good faith that his income was not “taxable” because of section 861, and was convicted on five counts of willfully failing to file tax returns, which earned him 15 months in federal prison. United State v. Rose, No. 2:05-CR-01101 (U.S.D.C. E.D.Pa. 8/12/2005), aff'd No. 05-5199 (3rd Cir. 8/5/2008). He served 13 months in prison and was released on 12/29/2006. Since being released from prison, he has resumed his promotion of the section 861 argument and the materials he created explaining the argument.


The section 861 argument was actually created by Thurston Bell, but there is no known collaboration between Rose and Bell.

Rose was in a partnership of sorts with Dr. Thomas Clayton to promote the section 861 argument, and at his trial Rose was assisted by Larry Becraft as his stand-by defense counsel.

During Rose's trial on charges of willful failure to file tax returns, the prosecution introduce a copy of a letter that Rose had written to the Militia of Montana, a group associated with both violence and racism, proposing a collaboration towards a "bloodless coup" of the federal government.

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