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Legal, law officials warn of growing popularity of sovereign citizen movement

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VANCOUVER – He introduces himself as "Brian Arthur of the Alexander family," and before he'll answer any questions, he asks a reporter to declare that she is not a government employee.

He drives without a license and does not pay income tax.

Brian Alexander is a self-proclaimed Freeman-on-the-Land and one of a growing number of Canadian followers of the so-called "sovereign citizen" or "Natural Persons" movement.

Adherents have "freed" themselves from what they see as an overbearing government that has overstepped its bounds.

"People can't afford to live and they're basically destroying society, in our view," Alexander says during a lengthy interview at his home in Kamloops, B.C.

"They've created it themselves. Most of us are peaceful. We paid our taxes, we love our country and all that but when they start pushing at you, you tend to start asking questions and that's where this whole movement comes from."

Alexander says violence is not advocated and has no place in the movement, but one official who has followed the rise of the sovereign citizen movement in Canada says there have been a number of confrontations in B.C. and elsewhere during routine traffic stops or legal proceedings.

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