Following is a book review of "Hawaii -- The Fake State (A Manifesto and Expose of a Nation in Captivity)" by Aran Alton Ardaiz published in 2008 by the "Truth of God Ministry" which the title page says is in "Hawaii Nei" or, "Manoa Station, Island of Oahu, Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, U.S.P.Z. Exempt." The book's cover displays the archipelago of eight major Hawaiian islands where each island is colored as a piece of the U.S. flag, and above them all is a piece of barbed wire.
This book is not worthy of a review. It's not even worth reading. To make a play on the words of the book's title: it's a fake book disguised to look like a real one. But someone I respect tells me the Hawaiian secessionist zealots will be pushing to publicize the book as part of their agenda to trash the 50th anniversary of Hawaii statehood. For that reason my friend has pleaded with me to review it. And so I reluctantly comply, with regret for time lost that could be spent more productively on other projects.
Even though the book itself is worthless, this review will provide some interesting information about the sovereignty movement. We will enjoy hearty laughter at the irrational thought process of some sovereignty activists and the absurdities they put forward as truth. Folks might also be surprised by the criminal activities some activists engage in as part of their effort to rip the 50th star off the flag by undermining the sovereignty of the United States in the State of Hawaii through tax evasion, filing fake legal documents, and refusing to comply with licensing regulations.
This book also addresses numerous widely scattered topics that seem popular among conspiracy theorists who wear tinfoil hats to prevent the Martians from reading their minds. Many Hawaiian sovereignty activists seem attracted to conspiracy theories. I will identify some of those topics briefly. At the end I'll rebut the most substantive claims related to the book's main allegation that the State of Hawaii is somehow fake.
Not all Hawaiian sovereignty books are as ridiculous as this one. Some are worth reading -- they are well written and offer coherent arguments that give at least the appearance of being logical. See for example my reviews of the following five books:
Candace Fujikane and Jonathan Y. Okamura, editors "Asian Settler Colonialism"
Noenoe Silva, "Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism"
Robert H. Stauffer, "Kahana: How the Land Was Lost"
Ben Finney, "Sailing in the Wake of the Ancestors: Reviving Polynesian Voyaging"
Manulani Aluli Meyer, "Native Hawaiian epistemology" (and other related essays)
MAIN BOOK REVIEW
"Hawaii -- The Fake State" contains 13 preliminary pages including a dedication "to my Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ and to all those who have given their all in obedience to Him." A page about the background of the author says he was born in 1939 in Monterey California, was politically active there, moved to Hawaii in 1971, has a wife Nalani and a beagle, and has owned and operated a consulting and contracting company in Hawaii for over 35 years.
The "Introduction" on page vii begins by saying "This declaration is a revelation of Truth by a Christian Believer attempting to reflect the perspective of The Awesome, Living and Loving, Almighty God looking down upon His Creation that is functioning in disrespect and disobedience." Later it says "This declaration and manifesto is an expose through first-hand knowledge of the deliberate actions of a major world power, the Federal United States of America, in open violation of International Law; violations being committed against the Citizens of the nation, The Hawaiian Kingdom. This declaration takes into consideration the invasion and usurpation of the power and rights of the neutral Hawaiian Nation, through a conspiracy of deception. That major world power, the United States, has brazenly imposed its foreign corporate, pseudo-corporate, and statutory laws upon the Hawaiian National populace."
That's the style of writing that runs through the entire book. Following the 13 preliminary pages there are 197 numbered pages ending with this exhortation (including the English translation inside the parentheses): "Have courage to abide by the motto of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono O Iesu Kristo. (The Sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in the righteousness of Jesus Christ). The following statement made by Almighty God to his people can sum it up: 'Obey my voice, and I will be your God and ye shall be my people; and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.' (Jeremiah 7:23) Aloha Ke Akua."
People familiar with the state motto might note that Mr. Ardaiz in his religious zeal has added three words at the end which do not belong there (O Iesu Kristo), and has apparently tried to lead his readers to believe those words are actually part of the motto. This is not by any means an isolated example; it's typical of how Mr. Ardaiz invents "facts" and gives twisted explanations of history and law throughout his book. The religious theme is also pervasive throughout the book.
As we'll see, Mr. Ardaiz is part of a sovereignty group whose other leaders share his religious radicalism. They are devoted to an ethnocentric mix of paganism with Christianity, claiming that the Christian God revealed himself to native Hawaiians and infused their hearts with righteousness long before Captain Cook's arrival in 1778 (and therefore also before the Christian missionaries arrived from Boston in 1820). But if that were true, then why were the natives engaging in human sacrifice, having sex with multiple partners, and worshiping pagan gods like Pele? I won't explore that topic here, because it's irrelevant to the issue of whether Hawaii is a "fake state."
The book does not end at page 197. From pages 199 through 371 are "exhibits" consisting of important historical documents interspersed with obscure personal items such as "Court Docket Sheet" regarding an allegation of a wrongful levy for taxes, a photo of Pua Victor's house and photos of her certified mail letters. Numerous "exhibits" show the alleged illegality of the State of Hawaii or illustrate how the state uses the courts to oppress citizens of the Hawaiian nation and how the members of this sovereignty group have been fighting back. For example, "Exhibit A Apology Law U.S. PL 103-150" which everyone will surely recognize, is immediately followed by "Exhibit B Acceptance of Apology by the People of God of Hawaii" which nobody ever heard of. Exhibit B is apparently a photo of a large newspaper advertisement, whose date appears to be Friday November 17, 2000, although the name of the newspaper is unreadable. The ad is signed by 13 members of a Hawaiian sovereignty group including Richard Basuel, Leon Siu, William Amona and his wife Lydia Amona, Kealoha Aiu, John Philip Souza, and Aron Ardaiz. Remember those names because they will be discussed at length.
Exhibit B exposes the affiliation of the book's author Aron Ardaiz with one group out of many competing groups that claim to be THE reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom government. Let's examine who these people are and what they have been doing for the past ten years. Note: This is not the reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom headed by Prime Minister Henry Noa, nor the one headed by King Akahi Nui (who famously occupied Iolani Palace in 2008 but could not find the throne), nor the Nation of Hawaii headed by Bumpy Kanahele, etc.
On December 1, 2004 a feature article was published in "MidWeek" newspaper: "The Kingdom Has Come", pages 10 and 61. MidWeek is mailed free of charge to every household on Oahu every week, dated for Wednesday; and includes feature articles, commentary, and advertising circulars for all the major supermarkets. The December 1 article was about 46 column-inches long, not including a 7"x5" photograph of six people in front of a decorated Iolani Palace. The group "Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei" claims to be the revived Kingdom of Hawaii, and issues its own passports (small photo). The large photo shows six people, but the caption names seven, left to right! The caption on the large photo, with Iolani Palace in the background, identifies Leon Siu as foreign minister; Kealoha Aiu, minister of interior; Lydia Amona, kupuna council; William Ko'omelani Amona, kupuna council [and attorney for Pilipo]; Kimo Turnet, minister of finance; Aran Ardaiz, attorney general; and Pilipo Souza, kupuna council. The article was very respectful toward the group, more or less portraying them as patriots fighting for the rights of the Kingdom of Hawaii by not paying income taxes, not having State of Hawaii license plates and drivers' licenses, etc.
The "MidWeek" article photo caption clearly states that our book's author Aron Ardaiz was Attorney General of the reinstated Kingdom government "Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei" in 2004. But who is kupuna council member John Pilipo Souza?
On Friday September 17, 2004 John Philip Souza, alias "Pilipo," was found guilty in a jury trial on four counts of theft and false statements in his State of Hawaii income tax filings for 1999 and 2000. On December 28, 2004, Pilipo was sentenced by Judge Michael Wilson to one year in prison (minus time served), plus five years' probation, plus several thousand dollars in fines and the forfeiture of about $10,000 in bail. Leon Siu, named in the MidWeek article as the reinstated Kingdom's Foreign Minister, repeatedly sent out e-mails tracking the progress of the case and pleading for donations to cover bail and legal expenses. In a message dated January 27, 2005, Leon Siu said the appeal of Judge Town's verdict and sentence would cost $25,000 and that various attorneys and consultants, including "international law" Professor Francis Boyle (who has also worked closely with Keanu Sai, Bumpy Kanahele, and the Palestine Liberation Organization), were confident of getting a reversal based on procedural errors (not based on historical claims to lack of U.S. jurisdiction in Hawaii).
Mr. Souza claims that the Kingdom of Hawaii was illegally overthrown in 1893, and therefore the State of Hawaii is not legitimate and lacks jurisdiction to compel him to pay taxes. He further claims that he is a subject (citizen) of the still-living Kingdom of Hawaii. Although acknowledging that he has no Hawaiian native ancestry, he points out that under Kingdom law (which he says still remains in effect), all persons born in Hawaii (including himself) are native-born subjects of the Kingdom.
A lengthy webpage provides details of the MidWeek article, Leon Siu's e-mails tracking the Souza court case and appealing for money, and several news reports and letters to editor in the Honolulu Advertiser about the court case. The webpage includes a letter to editor by attorney and secessionist Hayden Burgess, alias Poka Laenui, commenting on the Pilipo case saying that Hawaii is an independent nation occupied by the foreign power United States, and therefore the people of Hawaii do not owe taxes to the federal or state governments to pay for the financing of their own colonization. See
Mr. Souza was imprisoned for about 80 days while awaiting trial because of his refusal to cooperate with court procedure; and described himself as a "political prisoner." The Souza case is discussed in this "Fake State" book on pages 104-108, where it says Souza was released on October 6, 2005 after one year in prison. Apparently Francis Boyle did not come to his rescue. Hawaiian independence activists are happy to have a martyr, especially someone with no native ancestry who can be cited as an example that the sovereignty movement is not racist (even though it is).
However, while acknowledging that being born in the Kingdom was sufficient to make someone a subject (citizen) with full rights, most sovereignty activists (including those with no native blood) nevertheless have devised convoluted theories to show that most locally-born residents of Hawaii today (including Pilipo himself), and all no-blood immigrants who naturalize their citizenship to today's reinstated Hawaiian nation (such as Aran Ardaiz), would qualify only for second-class citizenship due to special rights for "indigenous people" mandated by "international law."
Hawaiian ethnic nationalists do not want to frighten the 80% of Hawaii's people who have no native blood; although Asians who read my review of "Asian Settler Colonialism" (see link in the disclaimer) will discover why they should be scared to death by this movement. The claim of indigenous racial supremacy is widely asserted among Hawaiian activists. But to avoid frightening Asians and Caucasians, the ethnic nationalists usually mention it only long after impressing listeners with the acknowledgment that the Kingdom was multiracial. This book follows that practice by burying on page 156 a list of five classes of citizenship in Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei, of which #1 reads as follows:
"1. Hawaiian aboriginals. This Hawaiian national citizenship includes all those Hawaiians of Hawaiian bloodline (koko). (kanaka maoli, 'native Hwaiians' of the koko [blood]) born anywhere in the archipelago or in the world. These are the original or earliest known, indigenous people of Hawaii. Having Native Hawaiian blood is important because of certain provisions for them regarding land tenure and stewardship."
The last sentence seems to be the only one in the book that admits that Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei gives racial supremacy to ethnic Hawaiians. The activists talk the good talk of racial equality, but they have no intention of walking the walk. What they say is like claiming that Negroes in Mississippi, had equality with Caucasians because slavery came to an end (just forget about the Jim Crow laws).
Aron Ardaiz (attorney general) and John Pilipo Souza (kupuna council) both lack a drop of the magic blood, yet zealously support the creation of a government where they would be second-class citizens -- an allegedly "reinstated" Kingdom which proposes to violate the full equality given to all subjects, regardless of race, in the real 19th Century Kingdom they claim they are reinstating. The first sentence of the first Constitution of the Kingdom (1840) said "God has made of one blood all races of people to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness." It did not say that "indigenous" people or Hawaiians of the blood have special rights.
Book author (the reinstated Kingdom's attorney general) Aron Ardaiz also considers himself a subject of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Like John Pilipo Souza, Aron Ardaiz apparently has no Hawaiian native blood. But unlike Souza, Ardaiz was not born in Hawaii. Therefore, as an immigrant to Hawaii with no native blood, it was necessary for Ardaiz to undergo a naturalization procedure to become a subject of the Kingdom. As Attorney General, he should know the laws! And in accord with the laws, here's the first step of a lengthy process he followed to obtain citizenship in Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei:
"Exhibit D Apostille", covering pages 243-260, begins with a one-page document dated April 21, 2005 filed in the U.S. District Court in Honolulu entitled "Aran Alton: Ardaiz*, Apostille, by Special Appearance, a Spiritual Man and Breathing Human Being, and Hawaiian Kingdom Subject" with document caption stating "ACTUAL NOTICE TO THE JUDICIARY OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE DE FACTO STATE OF HAWAII, from, Aran Alton Ardaiz, a natural Born Human Being and Hawaiian Kingdom Denizen, under his lawful birth name" (Elsewhere the book explains in detail why it makes a great difference whether a person's name is spelled in capital letters). Additional pages in Exhibit D include an apostille according to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 and personally signed on January 28, 2002 by Lieutenant Governor [now Member of Congress] Mazie Hirono with the seal of the State of Hawaii; and various documents notarized by state-certified notaries or Kingdom-certified notaries, including a notification dated January 17, 2002 [109th anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy] and witnessed by John Philip Souza, William Ko'omelani Amona, and Kealoha Aiu.
Tax evasion and legal procedure are increasingly being used as vehicles for civil disobedience and propaganda as Hawaiian activists seek to undermine the sovereignty of the State of Hawaii and the United States. Abuse of legal process often takes the form of using environmental impact statement procedures as opportunities to spew propaganda and to file baseless challenges which delay projects for years and require resources to rebut (as with military training in Makua, the Superferry, etc.). Sovereignty activist abuse of legal process also takes the form of using the Bureau of Conveyances to file bogus challenges to land title (for example, Perfect Title), or using government officials to sign documents which court clerks must deal with, such as the "apostille" of Aran Ardaiz. What about tax evasion?
The newspaper advertisement in Exhibit B, previously described, was signed by 13 members of this Hawaiian sovereignty group Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei, including Richard Basuel, Leon Siu, William Amona and his wife Lydia Amona, Kealoha Aiu, John Philip Souza, and Aron Ardaiz. We have already discussed John Philip Souza.
Who is Richard Basuel? The Honolulu Star-Bulletin published a series of news reports from February 2000 through at least October 2004 tracking the trial and conviction of Richard James Basuel and his son, Richard James Basuel II, who prepared tax returns as RB Tax Service. They pled "no contest" for failing to file state general excise tax returns for the years 1995, 1996 and 1997. Star-Bulletin says "Basuel II earned more than $550,000 while his father grossed in excess of $330,000 from tax return preparations and commissions over the three-year period. RB Tax Service is one of Hawaii's largest tax preparation firms, says state Tax Director Ray Kamikawa." Numerous employees of the firm were also convicted of violations of tax laws. The theory they were using to help numerous Hawaii residents evade income tax was the claim that since Hawaii is not a part of the U.S., therefore U.S. citizens earning income in Hawaii can take the sizable "foreign earned income" tax credit. The Star-Bulletin reports also linked Basuel with an extremely weird effort by him to sponsor a campaign for Honolulu Mayor by ousted Kamehameha Schools trustee Lokelani Lindsey, despite the fact that she was a felon convicted of tax evasion, and also no longer a resident of Hawaii, and for both reasons was not eligible to be a candidate. A webpage includes quotes and links to all the Star-Bulletin articles about RB Tax Service, and some reports in other newspapers. See:
On page iii of his book "Hawaii -- the Fake State" Aran Ardaiz "extends sincere appreciation to his Brother in Christ, Leon Siu of Hilo and Honolulu for his complete dedication and contribution to the many hours and days of assistance in order to assure that the Hawaiian People's history and culture is accurately and properly presented herein." So who is Leon Siu, in addition to being foreign minister of Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom?
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin "religion" page on June 20, 2009 describes Leon Siu as "an award winning composer and performer, [who] heads the Christian Voice ministry and is producer of "Christian Heritage in Hawaii" lecture series." Mr. Siu's own autobiographical description is at
But several webpages have far less pleasant things to say about Mr. Siu, the Aloha Ke Akua ministry he founded, and his buddies Daniel Kikawa and David Kahiapo who are his colleagues both in the Hawaiian music business and the ministry. For example, see "Aloha Ke Akua Ministries: Calling the Nations Into Compromise 2005: A Warning" at
A webpage called "Deception in the Ministry" discusses Mr. Siu's role in the World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People. Here are some quotes from
"This movement will usher in a new era of unrepentance from former pagan cultures and religions. ... The claim is that the gospel was already evident before Western missionaries came in contact with indigenous cultures. Therefore Western missionaries, et al, are primarily blamed and must repent of bringing Western culture with them which ruined the godly societies God had already put in place. So the goal is for indigenous people groups, now called 'First Nations', to get together and assert their 'redeemed' cultures by way of regalia and cultural shows throughout the world ... and finish the task of 'world evangelization' which will usher in the return of Christ. ... Leon Siu, also on the radio show, is a promoter of the ideas in the book Perpetuated In Righteousness by his friend Daniel Kikawa, who was a main sponsor of the WCGIP gatherings in Hawaii. Kikawa and Siu have a ministry called Aloha Ke Akua on the Big Island of Hawaii. In Perpetuated In Righteousness Kikawa makes up an elaborate mythology about Hawaiian culture claiming that Hawaiians already were worshipping God in the form of the (bird) god 'Io long before missionaries arrived (pg. 18, pp. 2). He claims that the Polynesian people were descended from Israel (pg. 62), that they can trace their genealogies back to Noah (pg. 72-73), and that they knew the gospel because it was written in the stars (pg. 55). ... The problem is that Leon Siu continues to pray to the god ‘Io as Jehovah. ‘Io is a bird god. Micronesian Christians know that they were saved from worshipping animals, fish, birds, rocks and trees as gods when they came to know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The sin of trying to substitute YHWH for other gods is not new. Israel itself went up into the high places to worship YHWH in disobedience to the Law and ended up worshipping Baal there. Leon Siu is a musician who continues to play in bars and makes drums with carvings on them for use in cultural hula events glorifying the false Hawaiian god Pele. ... Siu uses the same claims as Kikawa that the Hawaiian people had a way of reconciliation with God prior to the arrival of missionaries. But how can they believe without a preacher?"
So it appears that Leon Siu has at least the same level of nuttiness as Aran Ardaiz, Richard Basuel, John Philip Souza, and the other members of Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei sovereignty group. This group is rather cult-like. However, Siu expresses his nuttiness far more logically and skillfully than Aran Ardaiz or the others, as can be seen in a "dialog" where he writes about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the ceded lands case.
People are entitled to hold whatever religious beliefs they wish. There's a sense in which all religious beliefs seem illogical or absurd -- after all, mainstream Christians believe a science-fiction-like story that an all-powerful extraterrestrial being impregnated an Earth woman to give birth to a son whose job was to suffer and die and be resurrected from the dead and thereby cleanse sin and make possible eternal life for all who believe the story. That's quite "far out" but it is mainstream Christianity. However, the religious views held by the leaders of Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei have a uniquely intense absurdity whose primary function is to assert that ethnic Hawaiians (and perhaps other Polynesians) as "a people" have been the recipients of miraculous special treatment from God; just as these leaders twist Hawaiian history and "international law" far out of normal alignment in order to support a conspiracy theory that would justify ripping the 50th star off the U.S. flag.
There have been many scams perpetrated by Hawaiian nationalist zealots who have used their twisted versions of Hawaiian history and international law to fool people into giving them lots of money. Examples include the land-title scams and bogus Kingdom government bonds scams by Keanu Sai ("Perfect Title"), Mahealani Ventura-Oliver (Ko Hawaii Pae Aina), the Kupuna Council, and others. Discussion about these scams, including links to webpages documenting the information, can be found at
The book does raise substantive issues regarding the legitimacy of the revolution of 1893, the Republic of Hawaii, and annexation. But before discussing those, let me briefly mention a few of the numerous far-out fringe topics that the book takes seriously. I mention these not because I will refute them (so much nonsense, so little time) but only to show the weirdness of this book and of the mental process of its author and his colleagues in Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei. These topics seem popular among conspiracy theorists who wear tinfoil hats to prevent the Martians from reading their minds:
(a) There are two different U.S. Congresses: (1) "the united State's Congress of the Republic (National Congress)" and (2) "a lesser, U.S. Federal Congress" [pages 19 and 25]. Only #(1) has the power to create a State of the Union, but #(2) is the one that claims to have created the State of Hawaii. Furthermore, President Eisenhower proclaimed a new State of Hawaii in August 1959 even though a President does not have the power to proclaim a state or to add a star to the flag. Thus the State of Hawaii does not really exist. The true U.S. flag can have only 48 stars (Eisenhower also illegally proclaimed Alaska to be a state and illegally added the 49th star to the flag).
(b) "The courts in Hawaii fly the Federal United States' 50-Star Military Flag with the yellow fringe ... openly reflecting that it is a flag of the United States Military. It is not the Flag of the American 'Republic' for which I stand. So then, what kind of law do we have being forced over Hawaiians and others who come into these supposedly foreign, federal U.S. courts? Publicly, no one knows. It can be readily assumed that these are military tribunals because of the Law of the Flag ..." Thus a courtroom where the U.S. flag has a gold fringe is actually a ship at sea under the authority of the judge acting as ship's captain and issuing military orders (rulings) based on admiralty law. [pages 26 and 109 and Exhibit S pp. 337-344]
(c) This book devotes numerous pages in many places to the claim that documents which spell a person's name with ALL CAPITAL LETTERS are illegally depriving that person of his rights as a natural human being. On page 38 the topic is introduced this way: "Remember, a 'federal public servant' name is a name that the U.S. Government has created, uses and owns; and individual 'private citizens' do not! When you acquiesce to use their ALL CAPITALIZED NAME, you contract away your God Given birth rights and come voluntarily, or by ignorance, into the U.S. corporate jurisdiction as that public servant citizen (federal) guarantor of a foreign debt that you, as a Hawaiian National, didn't create. By doing so, you place yourself into bondage to a foreign U.S. jurisdictional law system while domiciled on your own national soil!" Additional direct discussion of this topic is found on pp 44 and 57; but the topic reverberates throughout the book and in the way names are spelled in the documents appearing in the exhibits.
(d) "The crime of genocide against Hawaiian nationals" [page 26 section heading] Ardaiz cites U.S. Federal Law placing the U.S. on record as opposing genocide, defined as "The systematic, planned annihilation of a racial, political, or cultural group (Amer. Herit. Dict. 1973)." But having used that extraordinarily inflammatory word, Ardaiz gives no explanation how the U.S. is guilty of genocide. It seems he would like readers to believe the U.S. is treating Hawaiians the way the Nazis treated the Jews, but all he's really saying is that the U.S. annexation of Hawaii exterminated the political entity of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Except that Ardaiz' entire book is devoted to the proposition that the Kingdom still lives; therefore (hoist by his own petard) there has been no "genocide."
(e) The law establishing the U.S. District Court for the Hawaii district is not valid, because that law states the court is to be held "at" Honolulu instead of "in" Honolulu. [pp. 5-6] Also the law says the Court shall have jurisdiction over Guam, American Samoa, and other Pacific territories but fails to include Hawaii in that list; "Therefore Title 28 U.S.C. section 91, defining 'The United States Court for the Hawaii District' is obviously and clearly an example of 'Admission by Omission,' revealing that the U.S. District Court for Hawaii possess no lawful authority over the Hawaiian archipelago, i,e, Hawaiian Kingdom." A lengthy discussion of the (alleged) illegality of Hawaii federal judges' oaths is found on pp. 79-90, along with claims that court clerk Walter Chinn committed illegal acts in the way he handled the filing of some documents.
(f), (g), (h), ... Dear readers I beg your mercy. There are too many tinfoil hat topics in this book to be listed, and they cannot be described succinctly.
ARDAIZ' SUBSTANTIVE CLAIMS ALLEGING THAT HAWAII IS A FAKE STATE
This book is surprisingly weak in its presentation of arguments about the alleged illegality of the revolution of 1893, the creation of the Republic of Hawaii, annexation to the United States, and Statehood vote of 1959. Other sovereignty activists have written lengthy, well-reasoned, and heavily documented (although mistaken) essays on those topics. But Aran Ardaiz devotes very little space to them; mostly in pages 1-13 plus a few scattered pages elsewhere. He's too preoccupied praising God and exploring tinfoil hat issues. I will make a rebuttal on some of the substantive topics even though his presentation of them is so vague and undocumented that it's like trying to poke holes in shadows created by a flickering candle.
Let's take topics in chronological order rather than in the scattershot order found in the "Fake State" book. After summarizing the book's main historical claims, I'm going to provide a narrative rebutting them, and then a list of webpages which support all the main points.
Ardaiz says or implies the U.S. military staged an armed invasion of Hawaii in January 1893, overthrew the monarchy, and established a puppet regime (the Provisional Government) which immediately requested annexation to the U.S. The Queen surrendered only temporarily and only to the U.S., and on condition that the U.S. mediate the dispute and reinstate her. But the U.S. dropped the ball, and maintained the puppet regime. The Republic of Hawaii, Territory of Hawaii, and State of Hawaii are merely different names for that same puppet regime. The revolution that overthrew the monarchy was illegal (1893), annexation was illegal (1898), and the statehood vote was illegal (1959). Therefore Hawaii is a fake state, under the jackboot of American imperialism. U.S. law applies in Hawaii only de facto, enforced by America's illegal occupation; but the laws of the Kingdom remain the rightful laws of Hawaii today.
HISTORICAL NARRATIVE OF THE MAIN EVENTS LEADING TO STATEHOOD
Here's the truth about what really happened.
In 1887 a group of 1500 armed men, sick and tired of the corruption and instability of King Kalakaua's government, forced Kalakaua to sign a new Constitution severely restricting his powers. That revolution took place with zero U.S. involvement.
In 1889 Kalakaua's sister Liliuokalani, having returned from England, hated the fact that Kalakaua had signed the new Constitution. With the help of Robert Wilcox, she plotted against her brother in hopes of taking over the government and restoring monarchial powers; but the plot failed. As the plot unfolded, Robert Wilcox attacked the Palace, resulting in 7 men killed and many injured. The roof of the Palace Bungalow was blown open by dynamite bombs. U.S. Marines came ashore to restore order and continued patrolling the streets for a week before returning to their ship. During later remodeling the Bungalow was razed, and the eight-foot-high walls around the Palace were lowered to their present height to allow events on each side of the wall to be visible to people on the other side.
In 1891 Kalakaua went to California for medical treatment and died there. Thus Liliuokalani became Queen in 1891. She immediately started political agitation to get support for overthrowing the 1887 Constitution (which she had sworn to uphold in her oath of office).
In mid-January 1893 there was a crowd of 500 natives on the grounds of Iolani Palace expecting the Queen to announce a new Constitution. The Queen spoke to them from the balcony, saying she had a new Constitution but some difficulties had arisen and they should go home (the cabinet ministers she herself had recently appointed absolutely refused to give their approval, as the law required). The natives were very restless.
Meanwhile, there was a mass meeting of most of the 1500 men from the 1887 revolution. The meeting was in the Armory a couple blocks from the Palace (the Armory no longer exists), and many of the men were carrying guns. Now that the Queen was trying to overthrow that 1887 Constitution and proclaim a new Constitution giving herself nearly dictatorial powers, these men were openly planning a revolution to replace the monarchy with a republic. Nearly all of these men had white skin (although the largest ethnic group were Portuguese which other Europeans and Americans regarded as not quite white). Seven of the thirteen members of the Committee of Safety, leading the revolution, were native-born subjects of the Kingdom, and several other leaders were European or American nationals.
Tensions were running high. Honolulu residents of European and American ancestry were afraid for their lives, homes, and businesses, because some radical natives had threatened to use arson and rioting as political weapons if there was an attempt to overthrow the monarchy. The only ship in the harbor which had weapons on board was an American ship, the U.S.S. Boston. European and American residents, and some European diplomats, pleaded with the U.S. diplomat (Minister Stevens) to call sailors ashore to protect lives and property. And so 162 armed sailors came ashore as peacekeepers. They were under strict orders to remain neutral. They were never actually used, except for some who were sent to guard the U.S. consulate. They did not point their weapons at anyone, did not take over any buildings, stayed off the Palace's and government building's grounds, did not patrol the streets, and remained in barracks in a building down a sidestreet a couple blocks from the Palace. A few days later some began returning to their ship in the harbor, and a few weeks later the last of them had left. All these facts are contained in sworn testimony in the Morgan Report (below). There were no U.S. military forces on Hawaiian soil after April 1 and throughout the rest of Grover Cleveland's Presidency.
This was certainly not an armed invasion as happened when Germany invaded Poland, the Soviet Union invaded Hungary, or China invaded Tibet. It was more like what happened in Liberia a couple years ago, or in Haiti a few years before that, when the U.S. sent troops ashore as peacekeepers for a few weeks during a period of civil war or anticipated violence where American lives and property were at risk.
The revolutionaries sent men and guns to the government building (Aliiolani Hale, where the Kamehameha statue is). When they took over the building they discovered and seized guns and ammunition that the royalists had previously stored there in anticipation of fighting the revolutionaries. They read a proclamation declaring that the monarchy was finished, and then took over the police station, royal guard barracks, treasury, etc. The Queen decided not to fight. She wrote a letter surrendering temporarily, under protest, claiming she was surrendering to the U.S. on account of superior U.S. firepower, and claiming she was surrendering only until such time as the U.S. government would examine what had happened and restore her to power. However, she knew very well that it was the local revolutionaries who had defeated her, and she correctly ordered her letter of protest and surrender to be delivered to Provisional Government President Sanford B. Dole. (She delivered her surrender to Dole because she knew the revolutionaries might otherwise order an attack, and she did not deliver any surrender to U.S. Minister Stevens because she knew he was neutral and would never attack her) By claiming to surrender to the U.S., she hoped her friend, incoming President Grover Cleveland, would undo the revolution.
From January 17 to 19 every consul of all the nations that had consulates in Honolulu delivered a letter to President Dole granting diplomatic recognition de facto. That means those consuls agreed that the Provisional Government had taken power, and those nations would now do business with the PG rather than with the ex-queen. De facto recognition is all a consul is empowered to grant. Also, de facto is the only level of recognition given to a self-described temporary provisional government. The PG immediately drafted a treaty of annexation and sent it on the next ship headed to America. Since the PG was hoping to be annexed promptly, it felt no need to establish a permanent republic, and no need to seek full-fledged recognition de jure.
The revolutionary Provisional Government was not a U.S. puppet regime. In fact, incoming President Grover Cleveland (a Democrat) was a personal friend of the ex-queen. When he came into office in March he immediately withdrew from the Senate the treaty of Annexation proposed by the Provisional Government and sent to the Senate by outgoing President Harrison (a Republican). Cleveland began a ten month aggressive effort to destabilize the Provisional Government and put Liliuokalani back on the throne. On day number 6 of his Presidency he hastily sent a political hack (James Blount) to Honolulu, without Senate confirmation, naming him "Minister Plenipotentiary With Paramount Powers." Blount stayed for several months in the royalist hotel next to the Palace (later the Hemmeter building, now the state art museum), and held secret meetings with royalist leaders, taking notes on their stories about what happened in January. Later he wrote a one-sided report to President Cleveland, which Cleveland kept secret for several months. Meanwhile other U.S. diplomats tried to persuade Liliuokalani to give up her threat to chop off the heads of the revolutionaries, in return for the diplomats' help in putting her back on the throne. Late in December the top U.S. diplomat in Honolulu, having failed to destabilize the provisional Government, wrote a letter to Hawaii President Sanford B. Dole ordering him to step down and restore the monarchy; but Dole refused.
Having failed to overthrow the Provisional Government and restore the Queen, President Cleveland then made the Blount Report public and sent a message to Congress based on it, asking Congress to decide what to do next. He probably hoped to get Congress to authorize military force to restore his friend Liliuokalani to the throne. During January and February, 1894, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, under the chairmanship of Democrat John T. Morgan, held hearings on what had happened a year previously. They took testimony under oath (unlike Blount's informal conversations), with severe cross-examination (Blount had been the sole interviewer), and open to the public (Blount's interviews were private). The testimony was given by military officers and men of several ranks who had been on the U.S.S. Boston in Honolulu, plus Minister Stevens and Minister Blount, plus some men who had served in high positions in the Kingdom government (such as William De Witt Alexander, native-born subject of the Kingdom, born on Kauai in 1833, appointed surveyor-general of the Kingdom by Kamehameha V, and President of Oahu College). The committee published an 808 page report on February 26, 2004 including transcripts of all the testimony, exhibits, and a 35-page summary of its conclusions. This Morgan report concluded that the U.S. was not to blame for the revolution and had not given any help to the revolutionaries. Not long after that the U.S. Senate passed a resolution that the U.S. (i.e., President Cleveland) should stop interfering in Hawaii's internal affairs.
Realizing that Cleveland would block Hawaii's annexation for the remaining three years of his Presidency, and now assured by the Senate resolution that the U.S. would stop trying to overthrow the Provisional Government, the temporary PG decided to create a permanent Republic. There were several reasons for doing this, including greater stability and job security for government employees; and a hope for full-fledged international recognition. They convened a Constitutional Convention (which included at least five delegates with native Hawaiian surnames) and held elections for a legislature and President (the Speaker of the House was full-blooded native Hawaiian John Kaulukou). In a political gesture showing its continuing wish for annexation, the date of July 4, 1894 was chosen to officially establish the Republic of Hawaii by publication of its Constitution.
President Dole spoke with the local consuls of foreign nations, giving them copies of the Constitution and asking them to notify their home governments about the creation of the Republic of Hawaii and requesting full diplomatic recognition. During the following six months President Dole received those letters. The archives of the State of Hawaii has the original letters addressed to President Dole personally signed by kings, queens, emperors, and presidents of at least 20 nations on 4 continents, written in 11 languages, formally granting full diplomatic recognition de jure to the Republic as the rightful government of the nation of Hawaii. Among the signers were Queen Victoria of England, two Princes of China on behalf of the Emperor, the Tsar of Russia, the King and Queen of Spain; the President of France, the President of Brazil, and yes, even President Grover Cleveland. A couple years later the Emperor of Japan personally signed a letter to President Dole raising the Japanese consulate to the status of Legation -- a status never enjoyed by the Kingdom.
Thus the Republic of Hawaii was internationally recognized as a full-fledged member of the family of nations, replacing the previously recognized but now defunct monarchy. Full recognition acknowledged that the revolution of 1893 had been legitimate and that the government of the Republic was now the rightful owner of the public lands. The public lands in 1893 included both the government and the crown lands from the mahele of 1848. That's because a law passed in 1865 and signed by Lot Kamehameha V made the crown lands also the property of the government with revenues to be used to support the monarch in his capacity of head of the government; and now that the monarch had been replaced by a President, there was no longer a distinction between crown and government lands.
Full recognition gave the Republic the right under international law to speak on behalf of the nation, and to offer a treaty of annexation to the United States, including the ceding of the public lands. In return for giving the sovereignty and public lands of Hawaii to the U.S., the U.S. agreed to assume (i.e., pay off) the national debt of Hawaii (most of which had been accumulated during the Kingdom including construction of Iolani Palace and Kalakaua's trip around the world). The amount of money the U.S. paid was larger than the actual market value of all the public lands; so in effect the U.S. purchased the public lands. However, President Dole drove a very hard bargain, and the terms of annexation specified that Hawaii's public lands were not to be kept as part of the national lands of the U.S. but rather were to be held in trust, with all income to be used to benefit the residents of the Hawaiian islands for education and other public purposes.
The idea of Statehood for Hawaii goes all the way back to 1849; and from 1903 to 1959 it was pursued continuously by the Territorial Legislature and Governors, and the Delegate to Congress.
In 1849 King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III prepared a provisional deed to cede the Kingdom of Hawai'i to the United States, and gave it to the United States Commissioner, but it was never implemented. In 1854 the King drafted a treaty of annexation to the United States, which the King and the U.S. Commissioner in Hawaii agreed upon, but the King died before he could sign it.
The elected Territorial Legislature in 1903, with more than 70% of its members being Native Hawaiian, unanimously passed a joint resolution to ask Congress for an enabling act to convene a Constitutional Convention to create a Constitution for a proposed State of Hawaii (Session Laws of Hawaii, 1903, p.377 has the text of the resolution)
The Hawaii LRB (Legislative Reference Bureau) has confirmed the accuracy of the following facts: In 1919, Hawaii's elected Territorial Delegate Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, undisputed heir to the throne if the Kingdom of Hawaii had continued, introduced into Congress the first bill for Hawaii Statehood. On November 5, 1940 the Hawaii general election ballot included the question "Do you favor Statehood for Hawai'i?" and the vote was 46,174 "yes" and 22,438 "No" (67% in the affirmative). In 1949 a special election was held to elect delegates to a Constitutional Convention to draft a Constitution for a proposed State of Hawaii, which draft Constitution was then approved by a special session of the Territorial Legislature on July 15, 1950 and was approved in the general election of November 7, 1950 by a vote of 82,788 "Yes" and 27,109 "No" (75% in the affirmative). U.S. Senate Report 886 of January 27, 1954, associated with a bill for Statehood, indicated that 33 bills for Statehood had been introduced by Hawai'i's Territorial delegates between 1919 and 1954.
In February 1954 a petition demanding "Statehood Now!" was signed by 120,000 people in two weeks, and sent to the U.S. Senate, after a sendoff ceremony at Iolani Palace that featured the Royal Hawaiian Band, the Hawaiian Civic Clubs, hula, kahili, chants, and torch-bearers.
In 1959 Congress passed the Statehood Act and President Eisenhower signed it. When a plebiscite was held, 94.3% of Hawaii voters said yes to statehood. President Eisenhower then proclaimed that, because Congress had passed the Statehood Act and Hawaii's people had ratified their acceptance of it, Hawaii was now a state fully equal to the other states. The Statehood Act of 1959 returned the public lands of Hawaii to the new State of Hawaii in fee simple absolute, except for military bases and national parks.
Recently the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii misinterpreted the 1993 apology resolution as saying that ethnic Hawaiians have an unresolved race-based communal claim to the public lands and therefore no public lands can be sold until a settlement has been reached with them. However, the U.S. Supreme Court over-ruled the Hawaii Supreme Court, making clear that the apology resolution does not in any way change the ownership of Hawaii's public lands, and reaffirming the Statehood Act as giving the public lands to the State of Hawaii in fee simple absolute without racial restrictions.
All the main points in this narrative are fully documented in webpages with links provided below.
Aran Ardaiz' "Fake State" book relies on the Blount Report and does not discuss the Morgan Report. He never mentions the letters of recognition de facto of the Provisional Government delivered to President Dole on January 18 and 19, 1893 by the local consuls of all the nations having consulates in Honolulu. He never mentions the letters of full-fledged recognition de jure of the Republic of Hawaii, from July through December 1994, personally signed by kings, queens, emperors, and presidents of at least 20 nations on 4 continents in 11 languages -- photos of those letters were placed on the internet in April 2008 and the webpage containing them was announced in several newspapers.
Ardaiz provides a list of the treaties between the Kingdom and other nations (page 262), but at the bottom he makes the following false statement: "Therefore the Hawaiian Kingdom Nation by evidence of the Treaties shown above was and still is a nation among nations ..." But no. When a nation has a revolution replacing a monarchy with a republic, its treaties with other nations generally remain in place but are now administered by the new government, unless the new government fails to get recognized or decides to abrogate the treaties. No nations ever refused to recognize the Republic of Hawaii; and we have the documents showing that at least 20 nations fully recognized the Republic de jure. There is no evidence that either the Republic or other nations abrogated any treaty on account of the revolution. Indeed, the Republic sent diplomats to numerous other countries, especially to negotiate agreements on trade and immigration (especially with regard to plantation laborers). The Republic and U.S. worked together to carry forward an agreement made between the Kingdom and the U.S. regarding an intercontinental telegraph cable soon to be constructed.
The Republic continued as an independent nation for four years, until annexation in 1898. At that time the Treaty of Annexation offered by the Republic included the provision that the treaties between the Republic and other nations would continue unless abrogated or changed by the U.S.; and the identical language about treaties was included in the joint resolution whereby the U.S. accepted the offer of annexation. Once again, no nation filed objection to annexation with either the Republic or the U.S.; and by continuing their diplomatic recognition of the U.S. they thereby acknowledged that the Republic's treaties and foreign policy now belonged to the U.S.
Enough already about Aran Ardaiz' fake book "Hawaii -- The Fake State."
Readers wishing to explore these issues in depth should visit the following webpages.
REFERENCES, IN APPROXIMATELY THE ORDER CITED IN THE NARRATIVE.
Was the 1893 revolution illegal? Was it a theft of a nation owned by ethnic Hawaiians and stolen by non-ethic-Hawaiians?
Thurston Twigg-Smith, "HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY: DO THE FACTS MATTER?" (Honolulu, HI: Goodale Publishing, 1998). This book focuses on the revolution of 1893 that overthrew the monarchy, and the annexation of Hawaii to the United States (1898). But other topics are also covered. The entire book can be downloaded free of charge here:
THE MORGAN REPORT -- OFFICIAL U.S. SENATE REPORT OF 1894 REGARDING THE 1893 REVOLUTION THAT OVERTHREW THE HAWAIIAN MONARCHY. 808 PAGES of historical documents and testimony under oath in open hearings under cross-examination. Please visit
In 1889 Liliuokalani tried to overthrow her brother King Kalakaua to seize the throne for herself and get rid of the Constitution of 1887. Robert Wilcox attacked the Palace resulting in 7 men dead, numerous injured, and the roof blown off the Palace Bungalow. U.S. Marines came ashore for a week to restore order.
Recognition de facto of the Provisional Government -- full text of all letters from local consuls in Honolulu, January 17-19, 1893; taken from the Morgan Report.
Grover Cleveland's activities regarding Hawaii, March 1893 through December 1894: Overthrow, Cleveland Sends Blount, Demand to Dole for Queen's Reinstatement, Referral to Congress, The Morgan Report, Senate Resolution closes the door, Cleveland's Second Annual Message, Rewriting History
Letter of December 19, 1893 from United States to President Dole, Demanding That Lili'uokalani Be Restored to the Throne
Hawai’i President Sanford B. Dole, Letter of December 23, 1893 Refusing United States Demand to Restore Ex-Queen Lili’uokalani to the Throne
Republic of Hawaii -- The full text of the Constitution, and information about the Constitutional Convention that produced it, are available at:
INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION OF THE REPUBLIC OF HAWAII -- Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princes, and Presidents of at least 19 foreign nations personally signed formal letters of diplomatic recognition de jure, received by the Republic of Hawaii between July 1894 and January 1895. Those letters are available in the state Archives. Photographs of them have been placed on a webpage at
Historical significance and implications for statehood, Akaka bill, and ceded lands; are explained at
along with a detailed example of the Hawaiian sovereignty lie that such letters do not exist.
Was the 1898 annexation illegal?
Lili'uokalani v. United States, 45 Ct Cl. 418, 1910. In 1909 ex-queen Lili'uokalani filed a lawsuit against the United States demanding payment for the lands of the Kingdom of Hawaii which had been ceded to the United States at the time of annexation. The court ruled against her in 1910. Her claim is interesting partly because she did not challenge the legitimacy of the revolution or annexation; and indeed the court's ruling specifically included the full text of the treaty of annexation offered by the Republic of Hawaii and accepted in a joint resolution by the U.S. Congress. Her claim is also interesting because she never asserted that the ceded lands belonged communally to ethnic Hawaiians; rather she claimed the lands belonged to her personally. This webpage includes full text of Liliuokalani's complaint, full text of the court's ruling (including full text of the treaty and joint resolution of annexation), and analysis of the market value of the ceded lands.
Attorney Paul M. Sullivan's detailed review of Jon Van Dyke's book "Who Owns the Crown Lands of Hawaii?" published in the University of Hawaii Law Review, Fall 2008.
The ceded lands case: U.S. Supreme Court rules in 2009 that the 1993 apology resolution does not in any way change the ownership of Hawaii's public lands, and reaffirms that the Statehood Act returned the public lands to the State of Hawaii in fee simple absolute without racial restrictions. Webpage includes full text of Judge Sabrina McKenna's trial court ruling, Hawaii Supreme Court ruling, all principal briefs and amicus briefs by both sides to the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcripts, and U.S. Supreme Court final ruling; plus news reports and commentaries.
In 1854 King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III drafted a treaty of annexation to the United States, which the King and the U.S. Commissioner in Hawaii agreed upon, but the King died before he could sign it. Full text of the 1854 proposed treaty of annexation can be seen at
Hawai'i's Great Statehood Petition of February 1954 had 120,000 signatures gathered in 2 weeks on a petition for statehood for Hawai'i. A huge roll of newsprint was unrolled for a block in downtown Honolulu for people to sign the petition. Two weeks later a sendoff celebration was held at ‘Iolani Palace including chants, hula, kahili, and torch bearers before sending the 250 pound petition to Congress. Quotes are provided from 1954 newspaper articles, and photo captions, describing the events of those two weeks. Information is provided about what has happened to the petition and where it is stored today. The contents of one signature page are provided including 32 names and addresses.
STATEHOOD VOTE OF 1959: There were 132,773 votes "yes" and 7971 votes "no" for an astonishing 94.3% "yes" vote. For those who like to say ethnic Hawaiians were opposed to Statehood: Do the math. If 20% of the voters were ethnic Hawaiians, that would mean there were 28,149 votes cast by ethnic Hawaiians = 20% out of the total 140,744. Supposing ALL the 7971 "no" votes had been cast by ethnic Hawaiians; then there were still 20,178 "yes" votes from ethnic Hawaiians, representing 72% of the 28,149 ethnic Hawaiian votes. The vote count was also broken down by individual representative district. The district with the highest percentage of ethnic Hawaiians -- sparsely-populated Moloka'i -- had 1904 "yes" and 75 "no" for a 96.2% "yes" vote -- the highest percentage among all the 17 districts. A 3-page pdf file (unfortunately 5.4 Megabytes!) shows the statistics as certified by Hawaii Chief Elections Officer Dwayne Yoshina in his letter dated January 7, 2000:
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