“I will never plead guilty or not guilty,” said Benjamin Glynn before Singapore District Judge Eddy Tham on August 5th, 2021. “The charges don’t apply to me,” adding that he is a “sovereign.”
“I hid in the bathroom and I said, ‘I do not consent, I do not comply.’ They dragged me out of the shower and handcuffed me. I asked them what crime am I accused of committing. Silence.”
“Good luck getting into the Book of Life, Mr Koh,” Glynn told the prosecutor. “How can you say Singapore is a safe country? Police who hunt me down like a pack of wild animals. This is not justice. This is disgusting.”
Or, this is what happens when a lad from Helmsley, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, apparently renounces citizenship of his motherland, declares fealty to the Kingdom Filipina Hacienda Autocratic Sovereign Monarchy, and flouts Singapore’s laws requiring everyone to wear masks while outdoors and on public transport, because Covid-19.
A career recruitment professional and part-time scientist, Glynn says, “From a scientific basis, I think it’s nonsense,” adding, “I honestly believe it’s a hoax. I don’t feel there is any evidence to show mask-wearing is effective in any way,” and “I don’t even believe masks stop the spread of the virus in the first place.”
Public Service Announcement: Covid-19 is not a hoax, and masks are effective in limiting the spread of the virus.
As knowledgeable in the field of legal practice as he is in virology, Glynn hired Mr. Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman to be his legal council. Judge Tham pointed out that Mr. Abdul Rashid could not fill this role, as he had not been called to the Singapore bar.
“I don’t need a licence to practise,” protested Mr. Abdul Rashid, who insisted that he is an “ambassador-at-large and advocate of Kingdom Filipina Hacienda,” determined to defend his “sovereign compatriot”.
Unimpressed, Judge Tham informed Mr. Abdul Rashid that this was “not the position” of Singapore law.
Not long after, while concerns regarding his sanity were raised, Glynn declared, “My mind is crystal clear. I’m wide awake. I’m enlightened. Just because I refuse to be a slave, you accuse me of being a lunatic.”
“The certificate of vaccine regulations do not apply to the living man and I’m well aware of this fact,” Glynn proclaimed. “Why have the mask regulations been dropped all over America and Europe? Because they are unconstitutional! I don’t get my information from the Straits Times,” he clarified.
Speaking of insanity, Glynn had previously said, “I think it’s insane that I am facing a trial at all, just for not wearing a mask.” In Singapore, wearing a mask in public has been required by law since early 2020. Glynn has been living in Singapore since 2017. How could he not have known?
A legal “expert”
Challenging the qualifications of the prosecutor, Glynn told the court that he had spent “hundreds of hours” studying the law and said that he knew legal matters better than Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh.
Glynn told the court that he felt like, “a PhD law lecturer dealing with a GCE law student”.
In England, if the judge leaves, I’m free to go, because he’s abandoned the ship. Not in Singapore. Singapore has its own rules, as I’ve found out.Benjamin Glynn
Ultimately the court ordered that Glynn be moved to Singapore’s Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric observation. On hearing this, Glynn exclaimed, “I’m disgusted with how the Singapore judicial system has treated me.” A lone observer in the gallery stood to clap. The judge requested that observers maintain a degree of decorum.
Glynn is the latest citizen of the Kingdom Filipina Hacienda Autocratic Monarchy to run afoul of the law. In December 2020 two-dozen members of the group, including Queen Majesty Salvacion Legaspi, were arrested in Iligan City, The Philippines, after illegally occupying the Francisca Paradela Legazpi Memorial School. Police Officer Major Rixell Torayno said the group claims ownership of the entire Philippines. As arrests were made, female members of the group begged officers not to handcuff the Queen Majesty, while kicking officers and taking away their handcuffs.
Queen Majesty Legaspi reportedly refused to comment on the matter. It is not known if she was handcuffed.
One World Government
In 2011 Queen Majesty Legaspi thanked United States President Barack Obama for his assistance with establishing a “One World Government”. In her (or “Her”?) letter of November 7 that year, on the letterhead of the Kingdom Filipina Hacienda “The Land of the Infinitum,” she wrote; “I assumed you have reviewed my website, I did this urgently for the purpose of Presentation for the President and staff and to Ms. Karen Holmes, of One World Government, after she sent her Petition to Pres. Obama. Today, I am very happy and enlightened that I am able to help the President on his mission and vision and fulfill my purpose thru (sic) your request for solidarity!”
It is not known if similar letters were sent to former US President Donald Trump or current US President Joe Biden, but there have been reports of other sovereigns claiming immunity from national law.
Sovereigns amongst us
Paramjeet Kaur also claimed to be a sovereign in May of 2020 when caught outdoors in Singapore without a mask. She had just returned to Singapore after spending time in Australia. It was reported that she explained her sovereign status by saying, “It means I have nothing to do with the police, it means I have no contract with the police. They have no say over me.” A passerby reportedly said that her claim made no sense, that all persons in Singapore are subject to Singapore law, but she did not agree. “That’s the thing. I’m not a person, I’m ‘we the people’.”
Another accused mask-regulation violator, Phoon Chiu Yoke, claimed immunity “as a citizen” before the Singapore Courts. Like Glynn, she too was sent to the Institute of Mental Health, although no mention of the Kingdom Filipina Hacienda was made.
Has His Majesty King Salvador Hans L. Kempe anything to say about all this? Has he got any plans to liberate the sovereigns? Perhaps someone should ask him.
This post was compiled based on reporting in the Singapore Straits Times, The DailyMail UK, TEMPO Philippines and information available on the Kingdom Filipina Hacienda Autocratic Sovereign Monarchy website. Additional quotes were added as published by TODAY.