By: Christian Haag
October 31 2022
Sweden is a sovereign nation and its registration at a foreign trade regulatory body does not affect the Swedish legislative process.
In an old video re-uploaded on TikTok, a man called Sebastian Florin claims that Sweden is a registered company on the New York Stock Exchange and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and therefore cannot create any laws, only company policies. As free individuals, Florin argues, Swedes don't need to follow a company's policy. Otherwise, they would also need to follow the policies of Volvo and H&M. This is all, however, a completely baseless conspiracy theory.
The video contains two claims: that Sweden is a registered company, and because of this, Sweden cannot issue any new laws but only policies, which therefore don't need to be followed.
The evidence used to claim that Sweden is a registered company comes from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On its listings, “Sweden, Kingdom Of," is registered as a foreign government. The Swedish National Debt Office (Riksgälden) is listed as the business address.
In contact with Logically, Riksgälden clarified that Sweden is registered on the SEC database because Sweden has issued state bonds in a foreign currency. When this is done, the SEC wants a report on the bonds that have been issued. As such, the registration only shows Sweden as an entity from which American actors have invested through the purchase of bonds. It does not mean that Sweden is a registered company. Sweden is not registered at the New York Stock Exchange.
The second claim is nullified as we have clarified above that Sweden is not a registered company. The registration at a foreign county's department for the issuing of bonds does not affect the legislative process in Sweden nor its integrity as a state.
Sweden is a sovereign nation making its own laws in a democratically-elected parliament, not a corporate governance body. Sweden follows a transparent model in the creation of new laws. The Swedish Riksdag (parliamentary) website provides a thorough description of how laws are made, which can be read in both Swedish and English. All government bills can be read on the Riksdag's website, and the debates can be viewed on the internet or regular television and are archived on Riksdagen's home page. New laws are introduced every six months at the beginning or middle of the year.
The claim is derived from the Sovereign Citizen movement. Originating from the U.S. anti-tax movement in the 1970s, the movement has grown since and gained traction during the economic crisis in 2008 and the COVID-19 pandemic. The movement claims that the nation-state is an illegitimate entity. Instead of national laws, they follow what they call "common law" or "natural law" and claim this has authority over the current legal system. They have often used conspiratorial and antisemitic ideas in their rhetoric, for example, that the U.S. government is controlled by Jewish banking interestest and working towards creating a one-world government under the New World Order.
The Sovereign Citizen movement has remained relatively small in Sweden so far. Sebastian Florin who originally made the video has been one of the most active members of the movement. Other members include Max Winther, who is one of the founders of the Swedish freedom movement (Frihetsrörelsen) that arranged most of the COVID-19 protests in Sweden, and Maneka Helleberg, chairmen at the World Freedom Alliance with close ties to the Frihetsrörelsen. Individuals claiming to be sovereign citizens were present at several COVID-19 protests in Sweden.
Considering the substantial misinterpretation of the registration at SEC and the explanations of what it entails, we have marked this claim as false.