The FBI lists sovereign citizens as a domestic terror threat, saying they've been responsible for such crimes as murder, threatening judges, using fake currency and engaging in scams to convince people that they don't have to pay taxes or mortgages.
Both Jerry Kane and his son Joseph were involved in such schemes, peddling their message in seminars across the country. Videos of Kane posted on YouTube show him dressed in a white suit jacket with a closely-cropped, military-style haircut, instructing a group of people in ways to fight off banks and lawyers.
"I look at the legal term not the slang," Kane says on one video, urging his audience to look at the roots of legal language to reveal hidden meaning.
In recent weeks, ABC News has called dozens of sovereign citizens to ask for interviews and repeatedly been told no. But Brent Johnson, a sovereign citizen who hosts a radio show on the subject, agreed to answer questions and explain the group's ideas.
"I call myself a modern day freedom fighter," said Johnson. "You're the ruler, the master in your life."
Johnson said that people don't need Social Security numbers, driver's licenses, hunting licenses or wedding licenses, but that doesn't make sovereigns dangerous.
"You can find any organization, any group, any movement and there are dangerous people in that movement," said Johnson. "But I'm not one of them. I'm not a danger to anyone, except those who don't wish to have the truth exposed."
Observers say that the group is now growing, fueled by the Internet, the recession and anger at the current administration. There is also growing fear that the potential for violence is on the rise. Already, some sovereigns are calling Jerry and Joe Kane "heroes."