Facing Illegal Fishing Charge, Ernie Tertelgte Declares Self 'Natural Man,' Condemns U.S. Flag As 'Jolly Roger'

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When Ernie Tertelgte appeared in a Montana court Tuesday to face a charges of fishing without a license and resisting arrest, things went a lot better than his last court appearance in this case when he declared himself “not your corporate fiction” to a quickly fed-up judge..

This time, the 52-year-old Tertelgte wasn’t actually in the courtroom. Instead, he appeared via video. Maybe as a result, or maybe just in a desire to get the whole thing over with, Tertelgte was low-key and deferential as a judge set his bond for $500.

When he appeared before a different judge, Wanda Drusch, earlier this month, he bombarded her with a bizarre, Rousseau-like rant about “natural man” until the judge got sick of it and walked out.

The earlier appearance was recorded on tape. Watch it below.

Some of the highlights included the defendant condemning the American flag as “The Jolly Roger,” and declaring that “there can not be raised a jury of my peers” because juries consist of registered voters and voting means that “natural law has been dissolved.”

"You are trying to create a fictitious, fraudulent action,” he told the judge in stentorian tones. "I am the living man, protected by natural law."

When Drusch tried to ask Tertelgte if he wanted the case to go to trial, because he had pleaded not guilty, he replied, “I never plead. Animals plead. Sounds like baaaa, oink oink."

He described the case as “an overthrow of my rights to forage to food as a natural, living person who was in hunger. I was searching for something to put in my stomach as I am recognized to be allowed to do by universal law. That’s nothing to do with your corporate fiction.”

More than a dozen of the man’s friends and family members filled the small courtroom for Tuesday’s hearing.