Thomas James Ball Self-Immolated in Protest of the “Justice” System

Ian Freeman
June 16, 2011

I just got back from the Cheshire county courthouse, the site of yesterday’s self-immolation. As I was walking out, they were painting over the scorch marks they attempted to wash away earlier in the morning.

Thomas thankfully dropped off a “last statement” to the Keene Sentinel, so we could all know what he was going through. I will post that below.

First, what I learned in over an hour and a half of poring over stacks of paperwork along with Kyle Jarvis of the Sentinel and a reporter from WMUR:

Thomas James Ball, born 2/21/53 and his wife at the time, Karen Louise Ball (maiden name Primiano), born 3/2/65 had begun divorce proceedings about a decade ago. It was alleged that Ball had committed domestic violence against his 4 year old daughter at the time, Melissa. Karen had called Monadnock Family Services after the incident and was allegedly told that if she did not report the incident to police, that she would be arrested for child abuse. She called Jaffrey PD out of fear of what the government people would do to her family (steal her kids if they were both arrested) and because of their mandatory arrest policy in domestic violence cases, Thomas was arrested. He was found not guilty of simple assault in Cheshire Superior Court, despite slapping his daughter multiple times and causing bleeding. The Jaffrey PD apparently admitted that pressing forward as a domestic violence case was a mistake. His wife’s testimony shows he did not have a history of violence. Thomas figured he’d get to see his kids again after the not guilty. He figured wrong. The court continued to press for counseling at Monadnock Family Services (MFS) prior to allowing Thomas unsupervised visits with his kids. Of course, this is a huge racket for MFS, who likely is paid for every one of the cases they are sent by the court, either by the people involved or by the state of NH.

Thomas claimed Monadnock Family Services misinformed Karen when she was told that she better call the police or she’d be arrested for child abuse. He outlines the history of the case in question in his lawsuit against MFS from 2006. Here’s the PDF of his claims. The court dismissed the case against MFS primarily on a statute of limitations technicality.

Thomas’ odyssey with Cheshire superior court’s “justice” system stretched for an entire decade of his life, and despite making child support payments and having unsupervised visitation with his young son, he was unable to have unsupervised visitation with his two daughters, not because he was considered a danger, but because he refused to attend counseling as ordered by the court. Why did he refuse? Because the location of the counseling was to be Monadnock Family Services, the very same agency that he believed was responsible for escalating the situation and intimidating Karen Ball into calling the police in the first place. He wanted the decision on unsupervised visits to be made by the court, but the court kept passing the buck to MFS, therefore he did not participate, as he felt the case worker had a vendetta against him, as she allegedly refused to meet with him until he “changed his attitude”.

In 2009 he lost his job and was unable to continue making child support payments. As a result, Karen filed for a hearing on contempt of court, which the court scheduled for 6/24, next Friday. You can download Karen’s motion for a contempt hearing here in PDF form. In it, she alleges that Thomas owes thousands in back child support and attorney’s fees and demands the court sentence him to jail until he can pay the amounts demanded.

Of course, one might wonder how a jobless man could pay anything to child support behind bars, and perhaps Thomas was wondering how that might be possible as well. Facing an indefinite jail sentence, during which the amount “owed” would continue to grow, he chose to end his life in the hopes that someone would pay attention to the plight of families destroyed by this horrible system that is supposedly there to protect us. (Of course the truth is, they protect and serve themselves, not us.) He had tried the legal route, filing lawsuits to no avail. He tried to protest, joining the Fatherhood Coalition and picketing courthouses and the state house. Nothing worked.

Thomas James Ball was a man pushed to the brink by an inhumane system enforced by people who act like they have no empathy and are “just doing their jobs”. Thomas had his own issues with which to deal, but by all evidence, and even according to the state, he was not a domestic abuser, despite losing control with his daughter, which was clearly the wrong thing to do. Had the people calling themselves the state never gotten involved, maybe his family would still be together.

I don’t agree with Thomas’ conclusions in his “last statement”. He calls for violence, specifically the burning down of courthouses and such, and Free Keene’s tagline is “Peaceful Evolution”. Peaceful noncooperation and civil disobedience can do far more for liberty than violence could ever do. Violence is the government people’s game. That’s what they expect you to do if you are angry like Thomas. It’s what they are trained for. I don’t blame Thomas for being angry and frustrated with this awful system. I’m glad he did not choose to aggress against any of the state bureaucrats. They are doing wrong and destroying lives, but they should be forgiven, not attacked. Their system should be destroyed, not by fire, but by its own weight as more and more people refuse to cooperate and disobey their demands for obedience and money.

Isn’t it time you tried saying “no” to the people calling themselves government? Or did Thomas die in vain? If you don’t take action, you can expect to get more of what you’ve been getting: More control. More intrusion. More extractions of your wealth. More abuses. More peaceful people in cages…