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Pushback: NJ gym-owners who refused to obey COVID edicts regain business license

Bill of Rights, canceled in New Jersey these past two years
The Bill of Rights, canceled in New Jersey
these past two years.

A profile in courage: The owners of a New Jersey gym, Atilis Gym, who refused to comply with any of the absurd Wuhan flu restrictions imposed by Democratic Party Governor Phil Murphy and his health department have had their business license restored after two years, during which they managed to keep the gym functioning by asking for donations by those who used it.

[Ian] Smith claimed that as a result of not complying with lockdown orders, he and [Frank] Trumbetti received more than 90 citations, along with ten gym members who received citations; 9 criminal charges; that both he and Trumbetti were arrested, as well as one member; that local police changed the locks on the building, backed up their plumbing, and eventually boarded up the gym; that they were fined $15,497.76 every day they remained open, for 5 months; that $173,000 in fundraising for their legal defense was seized by the state; and that they owe more than $300,000 in legal bills. “And they took our business license,” Smith wrote. “Our ability to pursue the American dream. All for what? We were right all along. To date, 391,683 visits to our facility and people got healthier, happier, and better.”

“Well, it paid off,” Smith continued. “The township folded. They reinstated our business license. It took them 2 years to realize that nothing would make us kneel. … We made it. 2 years without charging a single member – just donations and [T-Shirt] sales. All the legal bills, fines, normal overhead, and safety equipment. We were able to do it because of you all. Thank you all again.”

Expect these owners to follow up with lawsuits to recover damages for the state’s illegal acts to try to destroy them.

Their resistance to tyranny was very painful for these brave men, but their courage cannot be applauded enough. They did what more Americans should have done, and did not. They stood up to the idiotic health orders of the state, that were based on no science at all and were completely useless:

On July 20, [2020] Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy in Camden ruled that Atilis must comply completely with an executive order by Murphy that limits indoor gym use to individual training sessions in separate rooms and bars unrestricted public use. The owners refused, and on Friday, the judge held the gym in contempt of court and said the state could shut it down. [emphasis mine]

Murphy’s edict was not only completely against logic, it was against proper healthcare. Working out at a gym is probably the best way to strengthen your immune system and thus better protect you from an illness like the Wuhan flu. And doing so with others in an open space is certainly not going to increase your chances of catching the virus.

Moreover, two years later it is now quite clear that these lockdown measures did nothing to slow the spread of COVID or reduce its mortality. At a minimum they only served to devastate the lives of millions, for no reason.

To put it bluntly, all that petty dictator Murphy was really doing was flexing his muscles, arbitrarily making it illegal for some businesses, such as gyms, to function. And he did it based on no law, in utter violation of the Constitution.

Smith and Trumbetti refused to bow, and with the help of their customers and many others across the nation, were able to withstand the onslaught of the government goons.

Today's brownshirts
He might be wearing blue or green, but he is today’s
jackbooted brownshirt

Meanwhile, the behavior of the police, who obeyed these unlawful orders, must be recognized. Every policeman takes an oath to uphold the law. The policemen who arrested these men and shuttered their gym, broke that oath. They followed orders instead. For the past two years, states like New Jersey were no longer ruled by law, but by men, issuing edicts arbitrarily and enforced solely by the might these policemen gave them.

More than anything, we should be ashamed with the police who enforced Murphy’s edicts. My opinion of the men and women who wear these uniforms has plummeted. When I see them now, I see an enemy of freedom, not a protector of it. Thus the police should not be surprised that they are now increasingly treated badly. They deserve it, based on their support of illegality in the past two years.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • t-dub

    I saw one of these owners interviewed by Tucker Carlson a while back, hopefully Tucker will have him back on again to follow up on this continuing story.

  • Col Beausabre

    As a New Jersey taxpayer, while I applaud the idea of restitution of these gentleman’s fines, legal bills, etc, it makes my blood boil that my money, through taxes, will be used to fund it. Murphy is a multi-millionaire ex-Wall Streeter (only that sort of background can explain his particular flavor of idiocy. He steadfastly refuses to just announce that all mask mandates are rescinded (I’ve stopped wearing ones, except I honor the request at some establishments to wear one inside their doors. I hope they honor my choice to shop or dine elsewhere)) let HIM pay for restitution. Another reason to campaign against him, which I will again.

  • sippin_bourbon

    I hope they get lots awarded in damages.

    The economic impact of fighting back is what most of these wanna be tyrants are counting on.
    So many people live pay check to pay check, and cannot take the risk.

  • Bob Wilson

    A scientific paper that uses actual data to show that the Covid lockdowns and vaccine mandates had very little effect to stop Covid and had many negative effects on public health. Compares different countries with different policies.

    The global march of folly

  • tyrone o'saurus

    Lose/Lose for the taxpayers. The dirtbag governor gets to go blithely on while the taxpayers who were damaged by his policies have to pick up the tab for the penalties and costs leveled against his policies.

    There is something incredibly wrong with a system that allows politicians to avoid responsibility for their actions. What is really sad is that this is the standard operating procedure in ALL governments functions. It’s always the taxpayers on the hook.

  • tpm

    He should move from Jersey it is the trash state of the country.

  • Bobby Hill

    Hmm, that doofus Smith was arrested for drunk driving. Again! In 2007 he killed someone doing that same. Probably not the type you want to make out to be a hero.

  • Richard Cook

    New Jersey pretty much is a lost cause to conservatives. And I mean not GOPe.

  • Deserttrek

    The vast majority of cops will kill you if they are ordered.
    Authority is the enemy

  • Kerry Garrett

    We shouldn’t be too quick to ostracize the police. Part of “the plan” is to drive a wedge between us an them. They are often in a
    “no win” situation and one way to move to a truly “police state” police force is getting the public to turn on them.

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