I had exactly the same trouble when I applied. I'm now 64 and had two passports in the past, but so many years ago I have no idea where they are.
I just gave up in the end because my reason for travelling 'went away'. So I could not be bothered to pursue it.
I believe Rob: Menard & Co, at the World Freeman Society, are supposed to be working in this one.
(Yes ... I'm furious at this, as well)
I suggest we bring down the entire House of Cards by lawful rebellion, and then everything else comes out in the wash. It has taken them hundreds of years of deception to get this far, and so wiping it away won't happen in one day. Just keep on keepin' on ... is what I do.
Freedom's just another word for: "Nothing left to lose" (Janis Joplin)
"There is no path to peace, peace IS the path" (Mahatma Ghandi)
"There is no path to freedom, freedom IS the path" (Veronica Chapman)