Obtaining Security Clearance

Sovereign Citizen Denied Clearance by Department of Energy

Sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who claim the federal government is operating outside its jurisdiction and therefore, are not bound by government authority in such things as law enforcement, courts, taxes, or even having a driver’s license or identification. The only law enforcement authority they respect is a sheriff. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have designated sovereign citizens as domestic terrorists and many are involved in major crime rings. Putting these facts together with what we know about national security adjudicative guidelines, it would be a no-brainer to assume one who engages in this type of behavior would not qualify for security clearance eligibility, right?

Well, surprisingly, a “sovereign citizen” applied for a security clearance with the Department of Energy (DOE) and was initially denied eligibility based on several issues: making false statements, lack of candor in omitting key information; a history of financial irresponsibility; criminal conduct involving bank fraud and receiving stolen property; and of course, allegiance to the United States. Amazingly, the applicant even self-identified himself as a “sovereign citizen” to local security officials when processing his application. Needless to say, his appeal was denied by the DOE Office of Hearing and Appeals, but you’ve got to wonder what the heck he was thinking in applying for a position that required a security clearance in the first place. This was probably one of the easiest decisions ever for the judge. Go here to see the entire case summary – it makes for some entertaining reading.


  1. Well . . . that was a fun read . . .

  2. Hasn’t filed taxes since 2009 and only owes 6K?


    Also, very thankful I didn’t have his SI, that must have gone on forever.

  3. “The Individual further created and displayed a fraudulent license plate on his vehicle, in order to identify himself as a “diplomat,” and to avoid the financial cost of obtaining legitimate license plates and registration.”


  4. I’m amazed he made it that far.

    How did walking into the LSO and saying he was a sovereign citizen did not immediately result in a suitability denial/ withdrawal of conditional offer?

    It’s better to stop that kind of crazy train before it even leaves the station

  5. Why do silly idiots like that subject even get a chance?

  6. Welcome to my world… I have yet to have a Subject involved in these philosophies believe that there was a problem between their government employment and their activities.

  7. If someone is employed and having taxes withheld, it’s possible to not file for ten years and be OWED money. Just because he didn’t file, it doesn’t mean that some money was paid in.

  8. An old roommate of mine has recently decided to renounce his US citizenship and become a SovCit. Of course he tried to talk me into doing the same and obviously he didn’t get far at all… his arguments were akin to an “anti-vax Karen” avoiding giving any straightforward answers beyond telling me to open my mind and do some research.

    I explained to him there’s now way I could keep a clearance that I depend on to find work if I went that route. Not only that, but I don’t hate the government that I’ve spent several years working for so I have no motivation whatsoever to follow in his footsteps.

  9. This type of thing has been around for pretty much our entire history. It’s a valid viewpoint taken to an extreme (as are many “movements”). People have a tendency to read documents and believe that they mean what THEY think that they mean. You actually see that problem here as well.

    Most of these people are relatively harmless but the associations can drag everyone down.