It was about ten degrees Fahrenheit at around 6am on March 16th, 2021 when dozens of armed agents from the FBI, IRS, USPS, ATF, and Keene Police swarmed onto the duplex containing the Free Talk Live studio. They smashed in windows and a front door, set off explosions, flew in drones, and held multiple peaceful bitcoin activists at gunpoint. Simultaneous raids were being conducted in multiple other locations, with six people arrested in total. They were since dubbed “the Crypto Six” by supporters.
One had her charges dropped and three have taken plea deals despite never harming another human being. Two remain, facing hundreds of years in prison for completely victimless, made-up financial “crimes” regarding bitcoin.
Now, more than a year later, the FBI has returned the surveillance DVRs they took from the property. This is some of the footage taken at the scene of the Free Talk Live studio in Keene, NH:
On tonight’s Free Talk Live broadcast from Porcfest, host Mark Edge said he’s been to a lot of Porcfests, and the attendance this year is already exceeding the levels of a typical Friday from past years. That means Rogers Campground is already packed, on day number two of a weeklong event that tends to build its attendance as the weekend approaches. Posts to social media reveal a variety of vendors who are accepting Goldbacks and Cryptocurrency, as is to be expected at an event packed with libertarians, voluntarists, and liberty-loving anarchists.
Last year’s Porcfest was the first-ever sellout at 2,500 tickets. This year – the nineteenth annual – the event sold out again, and they maxxed out the tickets to 3,000! Every campsite in the park is completely sold out. The record-setting attendance in the last two years is no chance event – interest in the Free State Project has shot up dramatically since the insane COVID crackdowns in 2020. In fact, 2021 also saw more people migrating to New Hampshire as part of the FSP, than any previous year. 2022’s NH freedom migration numbers will likely eclipse 2021.
The nearly two-decades the FSP has been encouraging libertarian migration to NH has paid off as earlier movers have laid an amazing groundwork of activism organizations and resources for later migrants. NH libertarians are winning elections, with dozens of Free Staters in state house seats. We have built the largest community of freedom-loving activists on Earth. It is no longer a pie-in-the-sky idea, but a longterm, proven success. The more people move here as part of the FSP, the stronger the libertarian influence in the state. Success breeds success.
Free Talk Live at Porcfest 2022
Meanwhile, the statists in New Hampshire are freaking out over our tremendous successes thus far, as the FreeStateNH account on Twitter is constantly pointing out. Statists in positions of power ignore libertarians in every other state, because they have no influence and will never threaten the status quo. More liberty activists are realizing that concentrating activism works and are picking up and moving to New Hampshire. Porcfest is the premier excuse to come visit NH and experience what it’s like to be around more freedom-loving people that you can count for an entire week.
Whether you can attend or not, you can tune in every day to Free Talk Live for the latest discussion and interviews from the campground. Our broadcasts will continue through the end of Porcfest and the following week for Forkfest. Forkfest is the decentralized follow-up to Porcfest. Entering its sixth year, Forkfest has no tickets so in order to attend, one need only reserve a tent site, RV site, or motel room from Rogers Campground between June 27th and July 3rd.
Sadly, due to the insane bail restrictions on me because of the Crypto Six case, I can only go up for the day, as I have to be home each night by 11pm. However, last year I couldn’t even leave my home at all, so going up for one day is better than zero. This year, I’ll be at Porcfest on Friday where I’m honored to be able to speak on the pavilion main stage at 1pm. I hope to see you there!
Former Winchester Police Lt Penny Witherbee, photo from Brattleboro Reformer
Lazy and/or corrupt Cheshire county police have been featured recently in a lengthy article by award-winning journalist Damien Fisher. Fisher tells the complicated story of Donna Pelliccia and her daughter who were targeted by a neighbor, Hayley Philbrick, whose false allegations against Pelliccia and her daughter resulted in Pelliccia thrown in Cheshire County jail on charges that were eventually dropped. All thanks to shoddy police “work” by cops in Troy and Winchester New Hampshire. Winchester is a town known for its deep corruption.
In October of 2020, Philbrick was shopping false claims around to different area police departments, alleging her neighbor Pelliccia threatened her via facebook. She obtained a restraining order against Pelliccia based on the fake account’s messages and then told Winchester police on October 14th that the threats were continuing. Winchester police then requested Troy police to arrest Pelliccia for violating the restraining order. No one from either department bothered to investigate any party’s claims, including Pelliccia’s denial that the facebook account was hers. After successfully jailing Pelliccia for a day, the morning of October 16th, Philbrick went to Keene police and claimed further contact by Pelliccia. However, KPD’s Christina Paterno actually bothered to examine Philbrick’s claims and determined they were easily falsified.
Having had no success with KPD, Philbrick returned to Winchester PD on the same day she visited KPD and made more claims of harassment by the facebook account masquerading as Pelliccia. Winchester PD Lieutenant Penny Witherbee had Pelliccia arrested AGAIN and this time she was held for several days until October 21st. Despite Pelliccia being in jail, Philbrick continued to claim messages were coming to her from the alleged Pelliccia facebook. Lt. Witherbee finally began investigating the source of the facebook messages but started by talking to Philbrick who tried to blame Pelliccia’s daughter. So Witherbee got a warrant and seized Pelliccia’s daughter’s devices to ostensibly search for evidence of the threats or use of the facebook account in question, “pelliccia.donna”. The search and seizure was conducted on Pelliccia’s daughter while Pelliccia was in jail. Pelliccia’s daughter has a neurological condition and autoimmune disorder and can have difficulty walking.
A month after her release from jail, the case against Pelliccia was dropped. Seeking some form of vindication, she complained to the court and Cheshire Sheriff deputy Todd Faulkner was assigned to the case. His investigation over several months determined that Winchester PD never bothered to conduct any examination of the devices they seized, never bothered to investigate Philbrick’s claims before arresting Pelliccia more than once, and Witherbee’s botched “investigation” made it impossible for him to determine beyond a reasonable doubt that Philbrick had indeed created the account and posed as Pelliccia on facebook, though he believed that was the case based on a preponderance of the evidence.
However, according to Faulkner’s report, over a year later, in January of 2022 Philbrick went to Jaffrey police to claim that Pelliccia’s daughter was sending her threatening text messages via a phone number from a company called TextNow. Since the Jaffrey detective, Jeremy K LeBlanc actually bothered to investigate Philbrick’s claims, he easily discovered that the number from which the threatening messages had originated was associated with a TextNow account registered to Philbrick’s email address! The report filed by LeBlanc says Philbrick had sent him screenshots of the texts from the very same email. He confronted Philbrick with what he’d learned and she denied it, claiming someone was “setting her up”. LeBlanc subsequently arrested Philbrick and charged her with “False Reports to Law Enforcement”, “False Swearing”, and “Falsifying Physical Evidence”. The latter charge is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning Philbrick is facing up to a year in jail on that charge. According to court records, Philbrick has a “competency hearing” on August 9th in Jaffrey District Court.
Witherbee had worked at Brattleboro Police in Vermont from 2002 through 2018 when she resigned and sued the department over alleged sexual harassment, ultimately settling with the town government for a $35,000 payout. Not long after botching the Philbrick/Pelliccia case, Witherbee resigned from the Winchester police. Is she simply lazy and incompetent, corrupt, or all of the above? According to Fisher’s story, Witherbee has been hired again, this time by Chesterfield, NH police.
Those of us in the New Hampshire freedom migration have pointed out the many ways that we have more impact here than libertarians anywhere else. We’re constantly making news in mainstream media and the statists are ever on the attack against us. That’s because concentrating activism in one small geographic area works and more libertarian activists are starting to realize that the Free State Project is a success and more are joining – and moving to NH – in record-breaking numbers.
At least two other people remain charged with “picketing”, one who was the last of the Nine ticketed in December, and one man charged with it during a “honk brigade” event in 2021. Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest on the “Newfields Nine”.