Land of Our Fathers: Freedom, Or Bribery?
For several months, my team researched illegal land sales and foreign ownership of Agricultural land in the United States and in our home state of Mississippi. We found countless writings on the subject. We combed and labored through many books and articles written specifically about private property rights. Most books written seem to reflect the secular argument of guarding private property rights and the American founding sentiment of these rights from the angle of eminent domain, commerce, trade, free enterprise, and treaties with foreign nations.
We established in the previous articles the sacredness of the pursuit of happiness encompassing the ability to see the fruit of your labor which can lead to private property ownership. It truly is sacred. The words are enshrined in our hearts regarding what truths we hold to be self-evident. That “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Our hope is that through these three articles, we have persuaded you to act in this not-so-subtle war on our lives, our future generations, and our land. In this series, we have aimed to also make the case regarding the spiritual component of this topic before offering formidable solutions to wall the dam that has crumbled.
The Israelites were disorderly, enslaved, and had no idea how to form their governance at the time they were released from captivity. Yet, they moved miraculously into extremely well-organized, self-governing tribes. They had no order or schema for what was to soon become a “national establishment.” Yet, they went on to perfect this and excel far above any other kingdom or state. The Hebrew people successfully established themselves as the first republic whereby Moses, on Mt. Sinai, instructed the people in the first Biblical form of representative government where they would elect godly, able, honest, bribe-hating men as their leaders. (Exodus 18:21.) Their tribes held local elections that were by all definitions decentralized.
Then, God gave perfect Law. Take note of something important: God did not give many laws, but they were worthy. These laws, when followed, accomplished the protection of life, families, individual freedoms, private property rights, and the reputation of individuals with no bias. Was it the people who made law moral? No. It was God. The Law was gracious because there is life in it. Our Constitutional Republic was given in love, laid out by the Word of the Lord, with no need of earthly kings or rulers.
Consequently, we have taken all kinds of bribes including international bribes. Power. Greed. Profits. Laziness. They all talk. It appears that America is losing her edge, her will to fight, and her will to not be led like sheep to slaughter. We are losing our drive, our tenacity, our ingenuity. We are losing are discernment. We are losing sight of our history both spiritually and nationally.
You can have the best Constitution in the world, but if you mismanage it, anarchy and tyranny are inevitable. We have time left to save our lands and steward them as intended. Living under a Constitutional Republic is a once in an approximately 6,000-year lifetime opportunity—it has never been accomplished before America; it will never be accomplished again.
So, what do you do? How do you research? How can you help? After reading about the problems that lay before us regarding the selling out to foreign nations and corporations, what are some tangible ways we can push back, reclaim, and steward wisely our lands during these times?
As American citizens we need to ensure the agencies responsible for “Homeland Security,” which should include all government agencies of the United States, are vetting the issues of foreign companies purchasing our land whether for agriculture or any type of business. The basic tenant of warfare is to occupy enemy territory, and even though we may say a country is “friendly,” that may not always be the case. That country may have friendly ties with a country that is an enemy to the United States. Also, the use of shell corporations conceals the true owner of the property sold. This type of tactic is referenced by numerous agencies as it happens frequently. Look at states like Arkansas and Florida who have dedicated task forces to investigate these matters. Mississippi needs one as well.
Prepare for a rabbit hole of information when you begin to research these companies. You will find that a particular company saying it is a U.S. company might have been at one time but was bought out by a foreign corporation. However, the foreign corporation or shell corporation keeps the company’s original website, so it appears to the average person the company is still U.S. based but it is not. Then, you will learn that these foreign countries are represented in the United States by registered agent companies that handle all their paperwork and official filings with your Secretary of State’s office. These registered agent companies are often connected to foreign corporations. You will find a spider web of interconnection among companies that in many cases link back to China.
As we research these different filings through the local, state, and even the federal system we realize that there is no due diligence to determine if the information on the paperwork is even accurate. Many of these corporations will recruit local law firms and real estate companies to aid them in the purchase of large tracts of land, knowing that these tracts are going to affect the local market for their fellow citizens, property values, and the overall well-being of their communities. Granted, these offers seem too good to pass up by the farmers and individuals making the deals. But those dollar signs blind them to the fact they are selling their very country’s soil to a country that doesn’t care about your children’s or grandchildren’s legacy. These foreign countries care about making profits and increasing their countries’ standing on the world market.
It seems that our country has lost its way trying to not offend other countries. We have decided to roll over and show the soft under belly of submission to the rest of the world. Let them dictate how we do business, let foreign corporations buy up our food supply, supply chain, and even the businesses that support those operations. “Smithfield” is a prime example of how a foreign corporation changed almost overnight regarding how much you pay for bacon. Go to your Secretary of State’s Website and look to see if COFCO (Chinese Oil and Foodstuffs Corporation) is registered in your state. COFCO is the largest Agriculture company in China. But I bet if you do find that name mentioned, it will say COFCO “America’s Resources,” but what’s in a name, right?
I challenge every Mississippian that owns property, especially if affiliated with agriculture, to start looking at who owns the land around you and who owns that company. How much money is going to foreign agriculture business of your hard earn tax dollars to supplement their operations? How much money do they get paid by our government to not even produce a product, but to plant trees for “conservation” efforts? For too long we have relied on our government, whether state or federal, to handle our business. Frankly, they are failing us all! And we have failed at our personal responsibility to govern ourselves. It is imperative we start taking care of ourselves and holding these individuals we put in office accountable to protect the interest of America and her citizens.
Recent news articles discussed foreign companies buying land near military bases, so everyone was up in arms about that. But what about buying hundreds of thousands to millions of acres of farmland or these foreign companies buying property next to major shipping ports? Who owns all that land along the Mississippi river? Why are Chinese businesses interested in U.S. based trucking companies, barges, and railroads? Because once you control the production, then you want to control the supply chain.
So where do you start? First start looking local. Who owns the agricultural resources in your community. Then, search the secretary of state’s website and look and see who files all that paperwork. Grab a cup of coffee (better yet, grab the pot) and start searching the internet for who those registered agent companies belong to and how many of them are technically foreign owned down the line. Look and see who the parent company is on the actual listed landowner. Then as you look further down the line you will most likely find out the land was purchased with someone’s pension fund money through some investment firm that invested in the foreign corporation and used that money to buy U.S. land. You will see that those investment companies, more than likely, have huge offices in China as well.
We are using large pension funds from around the world. These pension funds are placed into investment companies that invest in farmland worldwide. A good example of one of these companies is TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association). TIAA has farmland around the world, with funding provided by pension funds from different countries. These funds aren’t just teacher pensions but also from people in civil service to medical personnel. The majority of TIAA’s farming investments are overseen by a company called Nuveen, an investment management company that specializes in farmland and timber and operates through various subsidiaries. TIAA is not the only retirement fund that finds farmland attractive. This is a common trend with investment companies now, because of the return investment over a longer period. So, if an investment company has offices in the U.S., purchases farmland with pension money, and then leases that land to a foreign company for farming purposes, how would you as an American know that? And where do the commodities produced on that land by a foreign farm company go? It either goes straight to their home country for food, or is it sold on the U.S. market. But how do you know?
So how do you find out if the land around you is owned by a foreign corporation? Well, there are several apps that you can download that will show you who owns the property. A good starting point is the USDA Foreign Holdings of U.S. Agricultural lands. (Website provided below) Be advised this data is most likely a couple years behind. You can go to your county clerk’s office and look up a piece of property, and then you can go to your secretary of state’s website and look up that company by name. It will tell you if it is a foreign company but bear in mind that even though a company may be listed as foreign, it may not necessarily mean another country. It could simply mean the company is based in another state.
Start by finding out if the company you are looking for is owned by another company from a foreign country. Then you must research who is financing the company. Who are the company subsidiaries? This is a daunting task in some cases to track down the parent company and then try to determine whether or not it is a shell corporation to cover for the fact that the actual property is owned or may be leased by a foreign corporation or a foreign government that is adversarial to the United States. What if one foreign corporation buys out another and inherits all their assets? What happens in a case where China buys out a Dutch company that owns land in the U.S. but still maintains the original company’s name, keeps the same registered agent company, and keeps the same staff, but changes its operations? How would we ever know that is now Chinese owned? Who is looking into this?
There are things that can be done at the federal and state levels. Look at Arkansas’ state legislation, SB 383 now known as Act 636, regarding foreign owned corporations in their state. They even make it a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a $15K fine if the law is broken. They do not have a grandfather clause whereby land sold illegaly can just exist anyway. Arkansas is not playing. So, what can you do as a citizen to help stop this type of land takeover in your county or state? Be a voice, do some research on your state laws, speak to your legislators, and encourage them to curtail foreign corporations from owning land in that state.
Many states have enacted restrictions on foreign owned land, 24 states in total. My home state of Mississippi is one of those states, although the law has limited restrictions, and is NOT being enforced. Mississippi broke their own law, wanted to grandfather in the breaking of the law, and write a new law. Yes, you read that right. Are your state laws being enforced? What limitations do your state laws have, if any? Do you know your state law regarding this?
Mississippi should follow Arkansas’ strong lead. America’s First Policy Institute has some solid suggestions at the federal and state levels. We need to support policies that:
1) Limit and regulate foreign donations and endowments from foreign governments or foreign nations to state universities and schools.
2) Scrutinize aliens from countries and combatant and enemy countries who come wanting to attend our American institutions of higher learning.
3) Crack down on the transfer of Intellectual Property back to Chinese entities; enact and enforce strict punishment if law is violated.
4) Eliminate PRC owned corporations or companies from state-controlled pension funds.
5) Strengthen USDA reporting requirements and bring transparency in the areas of ownership, use, and change in use of land ownership.
6) Increase classified briefings to the USDA.
7) Establish state offices of Agricultural Intelligence and work alongside other states to trend patterns and legitimate concerns.
8) Work on shoring up full independence regarding agriculture at the state level.
9) Refuse real estate transactions with foreign corporations near military assets.
The encouraging truth is that no matter the assaults that come our way, the prescribed remedy will come through God’s Word. That is our plumb line. We also have the Constitution of the United States that is freedom’s frame. Each of us have a choice in the matter, but I implore us all to rise to the occasion.
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.” ― Thomas Paine, The Crisis
Rebecca Chaney is the Director for Restore Liberty Mississippi and is a former board member for the Mississippi Freedom Caucus. She is a lifetime Patriot Academy Constitution Coach and has hosted Biblical Citizenship and Constitutional classes since 2020. She has helped to start these classes across the state of Mississippi. She is a homeschool Mom of seven years to her son and daughter. You can read more of her work at https://substack.com/@rebeccachaney and www.restore-liberty.org