This nation was founded on hard money. It says right in our Article I, Section 10 of the US Constitution that, “No State shall … make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debt.” We lived as a hard-money nation for well over a century; Americans would only accept gold or silver coin in payment of debt or bank notes that were redeemable in same. That’s not the world we live in today, and on that, most everyone can agree. As for how we got here, there are many different versions of history. This article is the first in a three part series that will examine the history of how this came about, including the various conspiracy theories surrounding it.
The pedestrian version of the story is that the American public wanted government oversight over the banking industry, so Congress convened a series of hearings — The Pujo Hearings — as they gathered the necessary information to act. Soon, the Federal Reserve Act was drafted. This provided for a large bureaucracy that included a Federal Reserve Bank in most major cities. Their purpose for having them spread across the nation was two-fold: first, to distribute the power of the Fed far and wide, ensuring each region adequate representation. Secondly, to provide a local Federal Reserve Bank for oversight of the regional banks, making sure they were responsibly conducting their business in a manner not endangering to their depositors. The Federal Reserve Act also empowered the Fed to be the “lender of last resort”; essentially, it was allowed to create money from nothing so that it may purchase US Treasury bonds from troubled banks. The Act was sold as a means of breaking up the power of the banking industry and returning it to those representing the people, to promote responsible banking, and make bank failures a thing of the past.
The first book I ever read on the Fed was G. Edward Griffin’s The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, which tells a far more gripping tale of the its creation. His version of the story begins just after the turn of the century; the Fed being the culmination of a clandestine meeting of bankers and politicians on the exclusive Jekyll Island: the secret gathering having hashed out the details of how the Fed was to be brought about, as well as how it would function. The plans drawn up there were quickly put into action, with the Fed being realized roughly 2 years afterward.
That the meeting took place seems legitimate; it’s well documented in the memoirs and diaries of various participants. But Griffin’s conspiracy only begins there. Ultimately, he believes that a cabal of “Fabian Socialists” centered around Englishman Cecil Rhodes and the Rothschild family were determined to impose a worldwide Socialist order by way of manipulating the financial system. As far back as the meeting on Jekyll Island, Griffin traces back its shadowy history, exposing the alleged cabal’s actions as they proceeded to:
- Elect the malleable Woodrow Wilson to the Presidency over the re-election bid of hard-money William Howard Taft through financing Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party, which split the Republican ticket.
- Placing Edward M. House as personal adviser to Wilson, upon which House guided the naive president down the garden path toward the creation of the Fed, as well as establishing income tax, and entering the first World War on the side of Great Britain.
- Buy all of the newspapers of the US and employ yellow journalism to agitate Americans for entering WWI against Germany.
- Ultimately influence Winston Churchill (who was then First Lord of the Admiralty) to send the Lusitania to certain sinking upon calling off the ship’s planned escort as she entered into waters where a German U-boat was known to be operating.
- Direct the formation of the League of Nations, and later the UN, in an attempt to construct a worldwide Socialist order.
As Griffin’s narrative approaches present day, we see the hands of this supposed cabal trying to follow The Report from Iron Mountain — a book published in the 60’s claiming to be a secret report of the US Government, and based upon it, Griffin claims to expose evidence of this cabal having been behind threats as large as Communism (which he claims was bankrolled almost entirely by Western banks) to those as small as the Environmentalism Movement — where he sees the cabal’s influence in the presence of Earth Day.
I’m a skeptic. While I’ll agree that the Jekyll Island meeting took place and the Fed was a result of it, the rest I find just too incredible to believe. In fact, the notion that the Lusitania’s ill fate was purposeful was debunked to my satisfaction in the book Exploring the Lusitania: Probing the Mysteries of the Sinking That Changed History by the famous shipwreck hunter Robert Ballard, who, I have to believe is not part of Griffin’s conspiracy group. Furthermore, if this group is so well-connected that they were able to pull off a world war, how was it that they couldn’t get the League of Nations to pass in its wake? Similarly, Griffin’s later claims just seem too fantastic: Earth Day represents the work of a cloak-and-dagger cabal of Fabian Socialists backed by the Rothschilds (out to use the specter of global warming and overpopulation) to construct worldwide, trans-governmental organizations designed to systematically dismantle American liberty? I’m sorry, but the Environmentalist Movement is characterized by tree-hugging granola-heads opposing huge oil companies. Who’s better funded? Not to mention, as an illusion that, according to The Report from Iron Mountain, is supposed to replace the fear of war in the hearts and minds of the American people, global warming seems to be a tremendous dud. After years of dire predictions that the world is getting warmer, the argument is now becoming that, well, that might not be such a bad thing after all..
I’m not arguing the rights or wrongs of the Environmentalists here, but rather asserting that it’s not the work of The Report from Iron Mountain, The Rothschild Family’s secret cabal of Fabian Socialists, or even the Cigarette Smoking Man and his extraterrestrial-conspiring Syndicate. I believe people want to believe these sorts of conspiracies simply because they’re exciting and, at once, put real world events into the framework of an epic battle of Good versus Evil. Personally, I find these kinds of theories ultimately disempowering.
If you really want to believe the world’s richest people have gained control of the banking industry, the US Government, and key governments of various other nations — what chance do we really have to oppose them? From personal experience, I’ve seen those who believe such conspiracies just shutdown; the idea of opposing such a mammoth, powerful and secret organization simply too daunting to really take action against. “And if you do oppose them,” they tell me, “they’ll eventually find a way to shut you up.” Fortunately, that hasn’t happened to me yet. Although, if it did, I don’t suppose I’d be telling you, now would I?
Or wouldn’t I? Perhaps, I’m being financed by the Rothschilds, too.
You never know …