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South Carolina Requires “Subversives” To Register – Really

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Who do you think would be the last group of folks to tell the government that they are subversives? Maybe subversives? Well sir, the legislature in South Carolina was of a different mind, because they enacted the “Subversive Activities Registration Act.” Honestly. Per the act:

For the purposes of this chapter the following words, phrases and terms are defined as follows:

(1) “Subversive organization” means every corporation, society, association, camp, group, bund, political party, assembly, body or organization, composed of two or more persons, which directly or indirectly advocates, advises, teaches or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means;

So what’s a subversive organization in South Carolina to do?

SECTION 23-29-60. Registration of members of subversive and foreign-controlled organizations.

Every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means, who resides, transacts any business or attempts to influence political action in this State, shall register with the Secretary of State on the forms and at the times prescribed by him.

Exactly how does a subversive organization register? Since you asked …

SECTION 23-29-70. Forms and schedule for filing information.

Every organization or person coming within the provisions of this chapter shall file with the Secretary of State all information which he may request, on the forms and at the times he may prescribe.

And yes, there is a form for that. Oh, and that’ll be $5.00 please. Here, in all its glory, is the Act. By the way, though the registration fee may be small, the penalty for failure to do so can be quite severe.

Any organization or person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or by both fine and imprisonment.

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