Have you ever wondered if you're a mind slave of the police-state society we have in the United States these days? There's a very simple test you can do to find out. Here's the test: Go shopping at Wal-Mart repeatedly until you eventually end up walking out with an object that has an embedded RFID anti-theft chip that hasn't been deactivated. Wal-Mart's inventory control system will sound a tone and some retired, elderly person will get after you, or even tap you on the shoulder, in an effort to "control Wal-Mart's inventory."
Of course, to do this test properly, you should not be shoplifting. I do not condone shoplifting. Always pay for what you purchase and then walk out the door with the merchandise that you've already paid for.
From a legal perspective, whether or not Wal-Mart has deactivated the anti-theft tag on the merchandise you've paid for is really none of your business, nor is it your concern. You have every right to walk out of that store with the merchandise you've purchased without being interrupted by Wal-Mart employees. You have no legal obligation whatsoever to submit to a search of your stuff, nor to produce paperwork (such as a receipt) to prove your innocence.
So, walk out of Wal-Mart with merchandise you've paid for, let the inventory control tone sound, and then refuse to return back to Wal-Mart to have your merchandise "deactivated." Just continue walking.
As you do so, you'll notice that a number of people will start calling after you. First, the Wal-Mart employee will say, "Sir, sir ... " in an increasingly perturbed tone, and if you refuse to turn around and submit to the police state search, usually other volunteer civilians will start chiming in, "Sir, sir ... " Before long, you'll have an entire chorus of Wal-Mart employees and volunteer civilians calling after you. It's like a herd of brainwashed sheeple baa-ing at the top of their lungs.
As you keep walking into the parking lot, eventually someone might tap you on the shoulder. That's when you turn around and say, "May I help you?" Someone says, "Your merchandise was beeping." Now you simply say, "Oh, I didn't know that was mine, I paid for all of my merchandise. I thought that beeping was only for things that were stolen."
At that point, the Wal-Mart employee, who has probably caught up to you by now, will say you need to return and have your merchandise deactivated. Now here's the point at which you get to decide whether you're a mind slave or a free citizen. If you're a free citizen you'll do what I do, which is to say, "I don't mind my products not being deactivated, thank you." And you simply walk away.
If you are a mind slave, then you will submit to this ridiculous request for an illegal search, and you’ll return to have Wal-Mart employees rifle through the items you just paid for, trying to figure out which one needs to be zapped by their inventory control system. If you've ever experienced this, they'll say, "Okay, try it now." And you'll get to walk through their security system again, and then look back compliantly at the Wal-Mart employees to find out if they want you to come back and jump through their security hoops one more time. Truly, only a mind slave would submit to this waste of time and violation of privacy. It's an idiotic Wal-Mart game that I choose not to participate in.
The "don't pursue" policy
As you continue calmly walking away, you'll notice something very interesting. That is, specifically, nothing. The police don't show up. The FBI doesn’t come knocking at your door. Even the Wal-Mart employee
who wants to detain you with an illegal search doesn't even come after you, and you know why? The whole system is a ruse
. Wal-Mart tells their door guardians to not pursue those who choose to walk away. You heard me right: Wal-Mart has a "don't pursue" policy for shoplifters! This means, of course, that this inventory control technology has no real prevention purpose whatsoever. It does nothing to stop a real shoplifter who buys one item, pockets another without paying for it, then calmly walks out of the store.
The anti-theft system does have another purpose, however: To remind everyone that they are being watched. It also serves to annoy non-shoplifting citizens who are stupid enough to turn around and submit to a Wal-Mart search of their stuff.
The true purpose of inventory control systems at Wal-Mart is not to actually reduce shoplifting or apprehend shoplifting criminals, it seems. The real purpose is making sure that law-abiding citizens shop at Wal-Mart in a state of constant fear. Because you never know if your bag is going to beep on the way out. It's a game of Wal-Mart Russian Roulette, where even if you've paid for all your merchandise, you still might get beeped, stopped and searched. "Show us your papers, please!" means hand over your receipt and prove that you bought the merchandise you're carrying. It's an outlandish request that only a servile shopper would submit to.
In reality, you have to prove nothing. If Wal-Mart wants to accuse you of shoplifting, the burden of proof is on them to prove your guilt, not you to prove your innocence. And if they do anything whatsoever to physically stop you from walking out of the store, that's kidnapping, and you should be calling the police on them, not the other way around. Hence the Wal-Mart "don't pursue" policy. Their lawyers have already figured out that they have no legal basis for stopping and searching shoppers. Thus, your compliance is entirely voluntary.
Don't be a mind slave to Wal-Mart. Follow the Wal-Mart Freedom Action Plan described below:
If you are not a shoplifter, and you've paid for your merchandise, and you still get beeped by the anti-theft system on your way out of the store, take these actions:
- IGNORE the beep. It doesn't apply to you anyway, since you're not shoplifting.
- IGNORE the Wal-Mart employees calling after you: "Sir!" or "Ma'am!" They must not be talking to you anyway, since you paid for all your stuff.
- KEEP WALKING towards your car. Wal-Mart has a "no pursue" policy, so they cannot legally stop you from calmly walking to your car and driving away. Most of the time, this will be the conclusion of your Wal-Mart walkout event.
- REPLY to any direct verbal challenge (like if they tap you on the shoulder or run around to get in front of you) with: "No thanks. I don't mind my merchandise not being deactivated."
- THREATEN TO CALL THE POLICE if a Wal-Mart employee grabs your arm or otherwise physically assaults you. Tell the employee you are going to press assault charges against them. The entire thing will be recorded on Wal-Mart's parking lot security cameras.
- REFUSE to play their mind game by producing a receipt or otherwise submitting to their illegal search. Once you pay for the merchandise, it is now yours, not theirs, and Wal-Mart has no right to search through your private property without a search warrant.
- As a last resort, if they continue to hound you, demand, "Are you accusing me of a crime?" When they answer no, reply, "Then I will be on my way." Keep on walking.
Use these action
steps at your own risk. I am not a lawyer, and this is not intended to serve as legal advice. If you're stupid enough to start running or to get into a fight with a Wal-Mart employee, you will probably end up being arrested. Stay completely calm and matter-of-fact like. You are in the right. Don't blow it by acting suspicious. And, of course, if an actual member of legitimate law enforcement happens to get involved, it's a good idea to do what they ask, even if it means showing your receipt to "prove your innocence." Police officers do, in fact, have the right to pursue you, even if they only suspect you're a shoplifter.
Also, it's important to note that if you get into your car, and the Wal-Mart vigilante is obnoxious enough to stand behind your car, blocking you in, you will be charged with a serious vehicular assault crime if you merely tap that person with your vehicle. The best thing to do if this happens is get a picture of the Wal-Mart vigilante standing behind your car and send it to us. It will be viewed by millions and will probably get that employee justifiably fired. If you don't have a digital camera, just remember that Wal-Mart sells them. Stash your goods in your car, return to Wal-Mart, purchase a digital camera with batteries, and start snapping away as a citizen journalist. It's a classic tactic of every freedom-loving citizen: Use their own stuff against them. Then use the power of the Internet to share your photographic evidence with the world.
Another handy tip to remember is that if you exit the store through the RFID detectors at the exact same moment as somebody else, and the inventory control system sounds off, usually the Wal-Mart staff will focus on whichever person is stupid enough to turn around first. In my experience, if you just keep walking, the shopper next to you will always stop and submit to a search, thereby occupying the Wal-Mart vigilantes long enough for you to exit the area. So always try to pass through the RFID detectors (those are the large vertical stands that now have movie posters concealing their identity) at the same instant as somebody else. And try not to laugh out loud when they stop and submit to an illegal search. (Because laughing attracts attention.)
Remember, stay calm. Never raise your voice. Don't act like a criminal. Just go about your business of leaving the store with the stuff you own. And for goodness sake, stop being a mind slave of Wal-Mart's inventory control system. It's just a retailer, after all. This isn't the TSA strip-searching you at the airport. (Don't mess with the TSA. They will lock you up or otherwise ruin your travel plans.)