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Born in the USA, Mr. Glen Lee Roberts, a citizen by virtue of birth, rejected the United States and went on a search for internal peace. A unique journey that became deeply profound and has taken him down a path few think is even possible, much less would consider taking. He moved to Latin America at age 40, and at age 51, renounced his US citizenship to become deliberately stateless (legally without nationality). Since his renunciation of the United States, he has found the time to write and has published two books. During his life in the US he was actively engaged with the independent press.
Becoming a stateless person was a conscious choice and one that - despite its unusual nature - was undertaken by a number of historical figures: Albert Einstein, Friedrich Nietzsche and apparently, Carlos Edmundo de Ory* to name a few, as well as a small handful of currently living ex-Americans.
Mr. Roberts believes that by virtue of his US citizenship, he was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually supporting all of the policies and actions of the United States government. As well, he came to believe his citizenship also made him similarly responsible as well.
"As an American I was involuntarily pledged to a system that was increasingly engaging in ongoing invasions of privacy as well as other human rights violations on a mass scale and what George Orwell called 'perpetual war for perpetual peace.' I had been in conflict those kinds of policies and actions my entire adult life and no longer wanted to be identified with the US. I no longer wanted to support that monster and bully in any manner."
Mr. Roberts made the choice to renounce his US citizenship and has lived without any nationality since 2013. "It was like casting a heavy bag of rocks off my back," he explains, "and dispersing a black cloud." Mr. Roberts is not looking to obtain any other nationality, "I need to explore life as a stateless person", he said. That is without swearing allegiance to any politicians or a system that fails to respect all individuals, groups of people and the Earth as a whole.
The concept of statelessness itself, is difficult for many to understand. It is even more difficult to understand that one might voluntarily step outside the system of nationality. A system that seems so fundamental to human life that its impact goes easily unseen.
Being stateless means being a foreigner in every country of the world, a guest in whatever place you happen to be, "just as we are all guests on planet Earth", adds Mr. Roberts. Although many express a desire to "belong", Mr. Roberts says, "I simply have no desire to belong."
He considers himself simply as a human, an earthling, who like all other people, are bio-spiritual, not political beings, and should be free to experience life without the fear, anger and hatred that is so often inspired by politicians and their concept of nationalism based on political borders and citizenship. He said, "we can fear, hate or be angry with another human being that we've never met, simply because they were born in a different place." He doesn't believe that the bio-spiritual nature of Earth intended us to experience life that way.
No country provides any kind of diplomatic protection for him or for stateless people in general. There are many stateless people around the world almost all involuntary, with only a few making the choice as Mr. Roberts did. All of them should be afforded all the rights and respect humans deserve, regardless of their nationality, or the lack of it.
And he adds, "I think we need to look at how we can live in mutual respect, not focusing on (involuntary) allegiances to false ideologies justified by the intolerance and prejudice that nationalism seems to bring out."
Mr. Roberts has decided to embark on a campaign to seek letters of "moral support" from individuals and organizations, both private and public, who would like to show support for his chosen path as a stateless person. It is a unique life experience - though growing - and one certainly worthy of exploration.
You may share your support by leaving a comment here, or by forwarding a message directly to Mr. Roberts at statex //@// glr.com, or by tweeting a message of support to @OkStateless on twitter.