The Free Capitalist Project (FCP) is a venture established by Claud R. “Rick” Koerber in 2004. As of 2007 there were approximately 20,000 participants who had taken the “Liberty Pledge™”, more than 1,000,000 listeners to Free Capitalist Radio, over 2,000 paying supporters in approximately 200 local study groups. As of 2016 the FCP has also maintained an online Facebook group of approximately 4,000 members. The project was initially an outgrowth of Koerber’s frustration with the the historical ineffectiveness of limited government activism and pro-US Constitution activism which has been increasingly marginalized in popular society, while socialism and statism have increasingly become both de facto and socially accepted – norms. At the core of the FCP is the idea that the cause of human liberty and the philosophy of capitalism are essentially synonymous, and that a social revolution based upon the ideas of capitalism – as a moral foundation – beginning in individual lives, homes and families, and then spreading through civic service and community activism is most desirable the path forward for those who love liberty. Personal self-reliance, economic independence, and political liberty are the FCP’s three core values.
During the 2003 calendar year, a small group of friends organized by Project founder Rick Koerber began meeting together, studying together, and building businesses together. Initially the group was focused on a common interest in personal development, personal financial improvement, real estate investing, entrepreneurialism, a shared interest and love of the American Founders, the US Constitution, and the idea that the same truths and principles that have served as the foundation for prosperity in the days of ancient society are the same universal truths and principles that serve as today’s foundation for prosperity, peace, and happiness.
After several months, the group started a free, public newsletter called the “Free Capitalist.” The intention was to spread capitalist messages in the local community, attract attention of other freedom minded individuals, and to grow the publication into a full-fledged newspaper. The newsletter was supplemented by a news & current events website aimed at capitalist minded readers via http://www.freecapitalist.com. The Free Capitalist newsletter and website, along with the other business ventures of the group, began attracting the attention of like-minded individuals and soon Rick and his colleague Les McGuire began lecturing at seminars on the idea that at the foundation of all freedoms was economics.
For several years the term “Free Capitalist” was associated with this concept through the group and its several enterprises. The term “Free Capitalist Project” was used by Rick as a synonym for his own personal definite chief aim. Those individuals, families and businesses that worked with, supported, or partnered with Rick were informally referred to as the supports and members of the Free Capitalist Project. For several years (between 2003 and 2006) the group made beginning efforts to organize a formal membership program.
On October 31, 2005 Rick began a radio show he called “Free Capitalist Radio” with the intention of sharing the “Free Capitalist” message and it was over the first radio broadcast that Rick first introduced himself to listeners as “The Free Capitalist.” Les was a regular co-host on the show, along with Gabriel “the Invisible Hand” Joseph.
Inspired by re-reading Atlas Shrugged, in early 2006 Rick organized the first “Free Capitalist Board of Advisers” with the deliberate intention of formalizing the Project, defining a membership, and charting a definite mission and recruiting effort of like minded individuals.
Key Events – Timeline
Early Spring 2003
Rick Koerber, Jason Vaughn, Sonny Jensen, Steve Freestone, Gabe Joseph, Mike Ballard, Pete Hansen, and Mark Craner began regularly meeting together, playing Robert Kiyosaki’s board game Cashflow 101, and organizing new businesses under two umbrella companies, Franklin Squires Investments, LLC and Franklin Squires Companies, LLC.
Saturday, December 27, 2003
Koerber announced his intention to build a nationwide membership organization of 300,000 well educated, capitalist minded individuals dedicated to the “Ancient Principles” of Prosperity re-discovered by America’s first founders.
Saturday January 4, 2004
Koerber and approximately ten of his friends began holding Saturday morning seminars, free and open to the public, to teach these same principles and to promote their various business interests. Also in 2004, Koerber began publishing a free newsletter in Utah County, UT titled the “Free Capitalist.” The name was originally conceived as a play on words, given that the content of the newsletter was designed to promote capitalism and the newsletter itself was being distributed free of charge.
At a Saturday morning seminar in February of 2004 Koerber and McGuire first met. Finding deep common interests, Koerber and McGuire and several of their associates (Ray Hooper, Steve Freestone, and Sonny Jensen) began touring the western United States promoting various business ventures, initially focused on real estate investing concepts, but always teaching the principles of prosperity as a common foundation.
May 28, 2004
Koerber began publishing a news & opinion website at freecapitalist.com. The website focused on aggregating already published news stories that addressed capitalistic concerns. The site also regularly published opinion pieces from Koerber on various political and economic subjects.
December 14, 2004
August 18, 2005
The first “members” of the FreeCapitalist Project began paying a $29.95 monthly membership fee in exchange for certain educational offerings developed by Koerber and his associates.
October 31, 2005
Koerber began broadcasting “FreeCapitalist Radio” as a call-in talk show during the 9am hour on AM630 K-TALK radio in Salt Lake City. The purpose of the show was to facilitate Mr. Koerber’s efforts to broaden the exposure of his message to as many like-minded individuals as possible. McGuire soon after joined Mr. Koerber as a co-host of the broadcast. Both McGuire and Koerber were regularly accompanied by a number of their business associates most notably Gabriel S. Joseph.
February 3, 2006
During a strategic planning session Mr. Koerber and Mr. McGuire develop a plan to create two separate brands – one led by Koerber and his close associates that focused on organizing people around the basic principles of Project and the attendant political implications (FreeCapitalist Enterprises) and the second led by McGuire to focus on delivering information and material support to individuals interested in improving their financial lives (the Producer Revolution).
April 22, 2006
Mr. Koerber organized a voluntary FreeCapitalist “Board of Advisers.” The initial members were Steve Freestone – Chairman, Dr. Glenn J. Kimber – Vice Chairman, Rev. Don Sills, Randy J. Bradley, Matson Magelby, Abel Keogh, and Mr. Paul Skousen.
May 3, 2006
The FreeCapitalist Primer, and its subsequent editions, was published to introduce the “FreeCapitalist” ideas to the public and to introduce the concept of FreeCapitalist forums. The publication contained a small sample of writings from Mr. Koerber, a number of selections from other authors such as W. Cleon Skousen, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Brigham Young, Ronald Reagan, Norman Vincent Peale, and Ezra Taft Benson, and the full texts of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
May 4, 2006
Mr. Koerber and the Board of Advisers successfully launched the first FreeCapitalist Forum in St. George, UT. Randy J. Bradley was appointed the National President of the newly formed Membership organization and conducted a 3 hour initiation and orientation meeting in St. George with approximately 75 participants in attendance. Michael G. Isom and his staff contributed to the organization of the event and Mr. Isom offered to invocation. Speakers at the event included Dr. Glenn J. Kimber, Rev. Donald W. Sills, and Project Founder C. Rick Koerber. At the St. George meeting the first edition of the FreeCapitalist Primer was distributed to the audience. The Project subsequently launched eleven additional forums in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. Following this event, launch meetings were held each week in new locations across the Rocky Mountain West.
June 8 2006
On this Thursday night the FreeCapitalist team drove to Ogden, UT to organize the first FreeCapitalist forum there while several of McGuire’s Producer Revolution team drove down to St. George, UT to support a meeting of the Producer Revolution. Mr. McGuire and his partner Ray Hooper had decided at the last minute to fly down to St. George on their new private jet that same evening, and were the featured guests at the Producer Revolution event.On their return flight that same evening, Les McGuire, Ray Hooper and their pilot Blaine Pugmire were tragically killed as their plane crashed into Utah Lake in Provo, UT.
July 20, 2006
A “Legacy Event” was held at the Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City to honor Les, Ray and Blaine. At the meeting Mr. Koerber was introduced as new partner in Engenuity (McGuire and Hooper were both founding partners) all four partners (Koerber, Mike Isom, Garrett Gunderson and Wade Sleater) spoke at the event giving tributes to their fallen friends and to assure the approximately 2,500 in attendance that the effort to building the Producer Revolution would continue.
Koerber launched American Founders University.
May 15, 2007
Koerber announced, in Provo, UT – at his first major event since 2006 that he had begun organizing a new effort to supplement the FreeCapitalist Project and the Producer Revolution, call Prosperity Quest™.
June 5, 2007
In St. George, UT a second Prosperity Quest announcement event was attended by approximately 500 members of the Producer Revolution, the FreeCapitalist Project, and interested members of the public.
August 6, 2007
In an effort to increase the visibility of the Project, and to demonstrate the political power of effective organization the Project begins a series of events hosting several prominent political candidates for national, state and local offices in several communities. On August 6, 2007 approximately 1,000 FreeCapitalists host and question the then Republican Front-Runner, Presidential candidate, former New York mayor Mr. Rudy Giuliani at the Alpine Mansion.
August 23, 2007
Mr. Koerber launched the first of five pilot programs called Prosperity Quest Mentoring. Subsequent programs were begun on August 24, 2007, October 11, 2007, January 25, 2008 and March 28, 2008.
September 15, 2007
The Free Capitalist Project hosts presidential candidate Ron Paul at American Founders University in Provo, Utah.
September 17, 2007
The FreeCapitalist Project in association with American Founders University host the third annual Constitution Day celebration with over 5,000 attending.
January 18, 2008
The FreeCapitalist Project officially launches the first FreeCapitalist Online Community at FreeCapitalist.com.
March 1, 2008
In addition to its excellent performance on the web radio networks (Live365® and iTtunes Radio®) FreeCapitalist Radio began broadcasting as a nationally syndicated program on the ARN Radio Network being heard by AM listeners from Florida to Oregan, and moved from AM630 in Salt Lake City to 1460AM in Utah County, UT.
March 21, 2008
The FreeCapitalist Project officially launches the new FreeCapitalist Daily (news portal) at http://Daily.FreeCapitalist.com.
March 28, 2008
Mr. Koerber published the ninth edition of the FreeCapitalist Primer as an eBook, with several substantial changes, omissions and deletions including a new essay entitled, “Who is Les McGuire?”
May 15, 2008
After a year of planning and re-organization Mr. Koerber spoke at his first official public seminar in almost a year. Koerber announced the publication of the Official FreeCapitalist Handbook, the official launching of the full Prosperity Quest coaching and mentoring program (which now includes the Producer Revolution™), and the newly created FreeCapitalist Council now in charge of managing the Project.
July 25, 2008
The Project hosted its third annual “FreeCapitalist Bar-B-Q” in Alpine, UT.
February 2008 and December 2008
The Project hosted its first official 3-Day Conferences in Salt Lake City.
June 19, 2008
As part of its annual entrepreneurship conference, Koerber was invited by Brigham Young University – Idaho, in Rexburg, ID, to introduce the FCP and deliver a series of lectures to an audience of approximately 2,500 university students.
After approximately two years of conflict between Koerber and government regulators he criticized on Free Capitalist Radio, a joint-federal task force attempted to bring civil and criminal charges against Koerber. The Utah Attorney General declined to bring the charges, citing political motivations of those seeking prosecution and a lack of evidence.
After two years of conflict between Koerber and government regulators he criticized on Free Capitalist Radio, Koerber was indicted by a federal grand jury and accused of running a “Ponzi” scheme. Following the government’s press conference announcing the indictment, Koerber held a press conference of his own, flanked by supporters, where he played recordings of government investigators admitting that Koerber had broken no law, and government bureaucrats intentionally sending false financial information into the marketplace about Koerber and his real estate businesses.
After Koerber refused a plea deal and hired private attorney Marcus Mumford, prosecutors filed a new indictment in November 2009.
After two years of litigation a federal judge ruled that government investigators and prosecutors had illegally obtained and relied upon attorney-client privileged documents from Koerber’s private attorney files. The court also found the government’s efforts to defend its use of the privileged material, after using an “insider” to obtain information after threatening that “insider” with deportation of her illegal immigrant husband, as not-credible. Following this ruling prosecutors obtained and filed a third indictment against Koerber in September 2011.
Spring of 2012
Koerber’s wife Jewel K. Skousen initiated a run for the Utah State Legislature as a “Free Capitalist” candidate.
While immersed in the long running legal fight with the government, Koerber and Skousen began a series of FCP strategy sessions with John and Joy Belcher, Jared and Janelle Belcher, and Nephi and Tiara Boss – with the focus of incorporating the old American Liberty League into the FCP, and launching a new arm of the Project called the American Liberty Society.
August 15, 2013
After more than four years of litigation, federal judge Clark Waddoups had already ruled that the government’s politically motivated case against Koerber would be dismissed if it were a civil case, for failure to state a claim, and on August 15, 2013 issued an order charing prosecutors with a pattern of unethical, illegal and unconstitutional conduct and sanctioned the government by essentially ordering all of its evidence “suppressed” to “help prevent the erosion of “citizens’ faith in the evenhanded administration of the laws.” United States v. Koerber, 966 F. Supp. 2d 1207, 1245 (D. Utah 2013).
August 14, 2014
A year after his prior order, federal judge Clark Waddoups dismissed the case against Koerber “with prejudice” citing a continuing, widespread pattern of constitutional misconduct, due process violations and prosecutors whose conduct was compared to “a recalcitrant schoolboy,[who] fails to learn oft-repeated lessons” and an illegal scheme by prosecutors to violate Koerber’s constitutional rights just to obtain the indictment “in the first instance.” United States v. Koerber, No. 2:09-CR-00302, 2014 WL 4060618, at *4 (D. Utah Aug. 14, 2014). The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals would later chastise the US Attorneys Office for managing the case with “baffling incompetence.”
November 5, 2014
Koerber and Skousen had relocated to a new property they named “Liberty Reef” and convened a FCP meeting for the official launch of the American Liberty League and American Liberty Society.
November 27, 2014
On November 27, 2014 Koerber and Skousen, along with Dr. Glenn J. Kimber hosted a fireside event in downtown Salt Lake City at the history Temple Square.
During the summer of 2015, Koerber and Skousen hosted the first ever “Couple’s Retreat” at Liberty Reef. The retreat consisted of a full review of Prosperity Prime, with emphasis on the 7 Fundamentals.
November 2, 2015
On November 2, 2015, Koerber broadcast several weeks of new Free Capitalist Radio episodes, including a 10th Anniversary Show on November 2, 2015.
January to October 2016
On January 25, 2016, Koerber traveled to the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, during the controversial protest led by Ammon Bundy and LaVoy Finicum. Koerber, along with attorneys J. Morgan Philpot and Marcus R. Mumford took over as the lead legal defense team (as attorneys for Ammon Bundy) and assisted with the legal defense of Ryan Bundy and the other co-defendants. That trial resulted in the startling acquittal of all defendants.
January 18, 2017 to October 16, 2017
Following Koerber, Mumford and Philpot’s involvement in the Oregon trial, the government succeeded at obtaining a court ruling allowing it to once again prosecution Mr. Koerber on its politically motivated “ponzi” scheme theory, that government employees have admitted was motivated by the fact tat Koerber had “gone on the radio and criticized us of stuff.” On January 18, 2017 the government re-indicted Koerber on the same decade old allegations. Koerber went to trial on August 21, 2017 and the trial lasted seven weeks. After more than 40 hours of deliberations, on October 16, 2017 the court declared a mistrial after it was reported that 11 jurors were decided upon acquittal, but one juror ultimately prevented a unanimous verdict.