Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chapter 17
Money, Banking, Usury and Debt
"If men use their liberty in such a way
as to surrender their liberty,
are they thereafter any the less slaves?"
— Anonymous

Most of us may not be totally responsible for the many subversive decisions our elected officials might make, but there is one area in which we are totally responsible, and that is "debt," — both nationally and personally.

Most of us in America have sold ourselves into bondage because we have been free to do so. Most of our national debt is a result of the government offering the people a "mess of pottage," and it was bought by the people. Personal debt, however, arises out of greed and pride — the "keeping up with the Joneses" syndrome. Before we get into the subject of debt, though, let us first briefly examine our monetary and banking practices.

The Nature of Money
To examine the banking situation, we will first read what Thomas Jefferson said about banking and improper money practices. In 1810, he wrote: ". . . we are overdone with banking institutions, which have banished the precious metals and substituted a more fluctuating and unsafe medium. . . ." (The Real Thomas Jefferson, p. 355.)

This "fluctuating and unsafe medium" he had reference to was that of paper money. In 1813, as he was writing about the subject, he quoted Adam Smith: "He [Adam Smith] admits . . . that ‘the commerce and industry of a country cannot be so secure when suspended on the Daedalian wings of paper money as on the solid ground of gold and silver.’" (Ibid., p. 551.)

Daedalian wings are man made. To get into a little Greek mythology — Daedalus was a skilful artist and inventor who built the labyrinth in Crete for King Minos and was then imprisoned in it with his son Icarus. They escaped by means of wings that he had made. Likewise, paper money is man made — gold and silver is not man made.

The money that is to be circulated in the United States was meant to be gold or silver coin, not printed paper. Article I, Section 8, Clause 5, states, "The Congress shall have Power. . . . To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures." Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, defines money in this way:

"MONEY. Gold and silver coins. The common medium of exchange in a civilized nation.
"There is some difference of opinion as to the etymology of the word money . . . but in the United States constitution there is a provision which has been supposed to make it synonymous with coins (Art. 1, section 8, and Art. 1, section 10). . . . Hence the money of the United States consists of gold and silver coins. And so well has the congress maintained this point, that the copper coins heretofore struck, and the nickel cent of recent issues, although authorized to ‘pass current,’ are not made a legal tender beyond twenty-five cents." (Bouvier’s, p. 2238.)

Of course, the above quote, was written in the 1913 edition of Bouvier’s Law Dictionary. However, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized the issues of all coin to be made of base metals and President Ronald Reagan did the same with the copper penny.

Our money was to be "coin," and it was called a "dollar." Article I, Section 9, Clause 1, refers to the dollar. Again, let us turn to Bouvier’s dictionary:

"DOLLAR. The money unit of the United States. . . . It was established under the confederation by resolution of Congress, July 6, 1785. This was originally represented by a silver piece only; the coinage of which was authorized by the act of congress of August 8, 1786. . . . The law . . . provided for the coinage of ‘dollars or units, each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar, as the same was then current.
"The Spanish dollar known to our legislation was the dollar coined in Spanish America, North and South, which was abundant in our currency, in contradistinction to the dollar coined in Spain, which was rarely seen in the United States." (Ibid., p. 912-13.)

There is a difference between money and coin. Money can be any medium of exchange: sea shells, beads, carved rock (like scarabs) wood chips, etc. Bouvier helps us understand this:

"COIN. A piece of metal stamped with certain marks and made current at a certain value. Strictly speaking, coin differs from money. . . . Money is any matter, whether metal, paper, beads, or shells, which has currency as a medium in commerce. Coin is a particular species, always made of metal, and struck according to a certain process called coining." (Ibid., p. 519.)

This silver dollar coin was originally, in the United States, represented only by a silver piece authorized by an act of Congress, August 8, 1786. It contained three hundred and seventy-one grains and four-sixteenths of a grain of pure silver, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver.

By the act of March 3, 1849, a gold dollar was authorized to be coined at a weight of 25.8 grains, and of the fineness of nine hundred thousandths. An act of November 1, 1893, declared the policy of the United States to continue the use of both gold and silver as standard money, and to coin both gold and silver into money of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value.

In Article I, Section 10, Clause 1, we read, "No State shall . . . coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts." This clause of the Constitution approves of coining money, but not of making paper money. The Founding Fathers had little love for paper money but instead encouraged the value and use of gold and silver coin as the only real and just monetary medium of exchange. Our third President, Thomas Jefferson, said this about paper money:

"Specie [precious metals] is the most perfect medium, because it will preserve its own level; because, having intrinsic and universal value, it can never die in our hands. . . . The trifling economy of paper as a cheaper medium . . . is liable to be abused, has been, is, and forever will be abused, in every country in which it is permitted.
"We have no metallic measure of values at present, while we are overwhelmed with bank paper. The depreciation of this swells nominal prices without furnishing any stable index of real value." (The Real Thomas Jefferson, pp. 551-552.)

Roger Sherman thought their financial crisis and the ensuing Constitutional Convention "a favorable crisis for crushing paper money." (The Making of America, p. 496.) Let us take into consideration two more comments on the evils of this most popular form of financial exchange. Richard Henry Lee commented on paper money in these words:

"It breaks down the moral character of your people, robs the widow of her maintenance, and defrauds the orphan of his food . . . the poor man, who has the paper in his pocket for which he can receive little or nothing. . . . These unfortunate men are compelled to receive paper instead of gold — paper which nominally represents something, but which in reality represents almost nothing." (Ibid., p. 494.)

And Charles Turner stated: "The operation of paper money, and the practice of privateering, have produced a gradual decay of morals; introduced pride, ambition, envy, lust of power; produced a decay of patriotism, and the love of commutative justice." (Ibid., p. 495.)

The above shows what our coinage or money system used to be in the past. But, what have the covetous and greedy appetites of the power hungry done to it? No thanks to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Gold Reserve Act of 1933, gold was confiscated from the public, and safety deposit boxes, and he left gold certificates in the place thereof.

Ezra Taft Benson, in his true form of defending justice and the liberties of our people had these cutting words to say about the situation:

"I believe in honest money, the gold and silver coinage of the Constitution, and a circulating medium convertible into such money without loss. I regard it as a flagrant violation of the explicit provisions of the Constitution for the Federal Government to make it a criminal offense to use gold or silver coin as legal tender or to use irredeemable paper money." (The Proper Role of Government, p. 22; AEHDT, p. 145.)

Moral Implications
From the foregoing comments, we find that using paper money is valueless and immoral. This we see as we reread some of the words just quoted about paper money: Thomas Jefferson when he said, "The depreciation of this swells nominal prices without furnishing any table index of real value; Richard Henry Lee said, "It breaks down the moral character of your people, robs the widow of her maintenance, and defrauds the orphan of his food; and Charles Turner said it has produced "a gradual decay of morals; introduced pride, ambition, envy, lust of power. . . ."

Gold and silver keep their value, paper money does not; it can fluctuate at the will of man. Because there is only a certain amount of gold and silver, and it consists of certain, inherent, intrinsic values, it is relatively stable and viable for an honest exchange. Let us take, for example, the following story:

A bushel of corn is worth one ounce piece of silver. A man goes to a farmer and purchases a bushel of corn for a piece of silver. This he has done for years, and all is well. The corn stays the same price and the silver buys the same amount at each purchase.
But then comes a person who says, "I will give you a printed piece of paper that says it is equal to one ounce piece of silver, and you can go and by corn with it."
So the man agrees and gives the person his silver in exchange for paper money, a promissory note. The man takes that paper money, or note, to the farmer and purchases a bushel of corn. The farmer takes the paper money (promissory note) to the person who created it and receives his silver in return for it, and all is still well.
However, the person who created the paper money decides, for whatever reason he has, to print up twice as much money as he has silver to back it. Now the paper money is worth only one-half of its original value.
The man goes to purchase another bushel of corn and pays the farmer with paper money, as before, which the farmer takes to the exchanger for his silver, as before.
However! The person who now has doubled the amount of paper money in relation to the silver on hand, tells the farmer: "I now need two paper moneys for the exchange of a silver coin."
Now, the next time the man goes to buy a bushel of corn, the farmer says: "It will now cost you TWO paper moneys for the corn."
So now the man has to work harder and longer to purchase the same goods as before, because his money has become "worth-less."

This little story illustrates how inflation works and how paper money can ruin the economy of a people. As we see here, the value of the silver did not change. The value of the corn did not change. But, the value of the paper money did change. So, when we hear in the news that the price of gold or silver has increased, remember, it has not increased. It was the value of the paper money (dollar) that has changed in value.
Benjamin Franklin understood this. He was concerned about the bad money situation that existed in the State of Maryland at the time, and said, "By its continually changing value, [the money in Maryland] appears a currency unfit for the purpose of money, which should be as fixed as possible in its own value, because it is to be the measure of the value of other things." (The Real Benjamin Franklin, p. 428.)

He said it was to "be the measure of the value of other things." Money is to have value! People are to have values! And when we fool with the value of money, we also fool with the values of the people.

How is this so? We must realize that the things we value in one area of our life spill over into the other areas of our life. When we tamper with the value of money, which we value to a certain degree, we also tamper with our personal values. If we are willing to cheat someone because of our unethical business methods — though those methods may be legal — we will be willing to cheat them in other ways. We may even be so blind to our faults as to try and think we can cheat God.

Weights and Measures
The regulation of "Weights and Measures" is part of the duty of Congress, according to Article I, Section 8, Clause 1. This also has to do with value and morality.

The Lord, through his prophet Isaiah, was condemning his people, Israel, and at the top of the list of charges was that of the value of their money, and how it had been lessened in value. As a matter of fact, it looks like they even thinned down their wine:

"How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
"Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
"Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
"Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:
"And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin." (Isa. 1:21-25.)

Many know that "dross" is the waste matter which is thrown off from molten metal. It said here in this scripture, that Israel was mixing "tin" (verse 25) with silver, lessening the value of the silver pieces. Their coin therefore, became valueless, or in other words, had less value.

As we notice from this "worth-less" attitude of Israel, other areas of their lives were also affected: thinning their wine, being rebellious and associating with thieving companions, looking for gifts and rewards, the lack of charity, etc.

During the presidency of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, advised the President to charter the first national bank of the United States. This bank, however was a grievance to the American Republic. Of this problem, in relation to paper money, President James Madison later wrote:

"The loss which America has sustained since the peace, from the pestilent effects of paper money on the necessary confidence between man and man, on the necessary confidence in the public councils, on the industry and morals of the people, and on the character of republican government, constitutes an enormous debt against the States chargeable with this unadvised measure, which must long remain unsatisfied; or rather an accumulation of guilt, which can be expiated no otherwise than by a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of justice of the power which has been the instrument of it." (The Federalist, No. 44.)

As we examine the scriptures further we find that the Lord expected Israel to have: "Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have." (Lev. 19:36.) And He also said that: "Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small." (Deut. 25:13.) He then continues in Proverbs with: "A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work. . . Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD. . . Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good." (Prov. 16:11, 20:10, 23.)

The people of Israel still did not to serve the Lord in the spirit of truth, so He said, speaking of Israel: "Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?" (Micah 6:11.) Why such an emphasis on weights and measures if such considerations do not influence our daily moral values? They do influence them. Not only the Lord knew that, but our forefathers also knew it.

The Banks
Thomas Jefferson was never in favor of Banks. When President Washington signed the first national bank into being, it was against the wishes of Mr. Jefferson, who was the first Secretary of State. Jefferson wrote the following in regard to this "deadly" institution:

"The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States by the Constitution.
"This institution [bank] is one of the most deadly hostility existing, against the principles and form of our Constitution. . . . An institution like this, penetrating by its branches every part of the Union, acting by command and in phalanx, may, in a critical moment, upset the government. I deem no government safe which is under the vassalage of any self-constituted authorities, or any other authority than that of the nation or its regular functionaries. What an obstruction could not this Bank of the United States, with all its branch banks, be in time of war? It might dictate to us the peace we should accept, or withdraw its aids. Ought we then to give further growth to an institution so powerful, so hostile?
"Everything predicted by the enemies of banks, in the beginning, is now coming to pass. We are to be ruined now by the deluge of bank paper, as we were formerly by the old Continental paper. . . . I am an enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but coin. But our whole country is so fascinated by this Jack lantern wealth that they will not stop short of its total and fatal explosion.
"The evils they [the banks] have engendered are now upon us, and the question is how we are to get out of them? . . . For these are to ruin both Republic and individuals." (The Real Thomas Jefferson, pp. 354-356.)

How did our modern-day banking system come into being? To put things into proper historical perspective, we will go back a few years.

The modern European banking conglomeration was started by Amschel Moses Meyers, who later changed his name to Rothschild. After some success in a small banking house he branched out into Germany, Austria, England, Italy, and France, placing one of his sons at the head of different branches.
With this kind of arrangement, he proceeded to influence governments to borrow from his banking establishments, to finance wars, which have always been plentiful in Europe. With a branch in each major country, his sons could convince the reigning King, or Sovereign, to borrow from them to finance his campaign. Thus, the Rothschilds could finance both sides of a war and make money from the interest charged. As Meyer Rothschild, one of the sons of Amschel who controlled the bank in Frankfurt, Germany, said, "Permit me to control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws." (The Unseen Hand, p. 140, from Martin A. Larson, The Federal Reserve, p. 10.)

Alexander Hamilton married into the Philip Schuyler family of New York, one of the richest and most influential families in the country. George Washington seated him as the first Secretary of the Treasury in 1789, at which time Hamilton was instrumental in convincing Mr. Washington, against Mr. Jefferson’s advice, to sign into being the nation’s first Bank of the United States in 1791.

This author does not mean to say that Alexander Hamilton was purposely involved in a conspiracy against this country he helped found, but that he was only an unsuspecting player in a larger game.

The international banking syndicate conspiracy has been traced back to 1776, with Adam Weishaupt and his Illuminati Order. It may be of interest, at this time, to say that George Washington came into the possession of the book, Proofs of a Conspiracy, previously spoken of, and tried to warn his friends. At one time he wrote a letter to a Reverend G. W. Snyder, wherein he said, "Reverend Sir: It was not my intention to doubt that the doctrine of the Illuminati and the principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more satisfied of this fact than I am. . . ." (Quoted in Emerging Struggle for State Sovereignty, p. 148.)

Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr — the same Burr that killed Hamilton in a pistol duel — had helped create the Manhattan Company of New York. This was later merged with the Rockefeller’s Chase Bank, creating what has since been known as the Chase Manhattan Bank.

After the twenty-year charter ran out for the first Bank of the United States, a second Bank of the United States was instituted to help pay for the War of 1812. This war was a war promoted by the bank, of which the U.S. became a victim. When Andrew Jackson came into office as President, he abolished the bank before its new twenty-year charter ran out. Although banks had their hands in this nation’s Civil War, the country was free of a charted banking establishment until 1913.

The Federal Reserve Bank
In 1911-1912, one of this nation’s biggest economic battles took place between those who wanted to keep a Constitutional money system and those that wanted a system controlled by the financiers.

In order for the bankers to pull it off, they found their man in Woodrow Wilson, a president of Princeton University. When he was nominated by the Democratic convention, that convention went on record as absolutely opposed to any banking system. The appointment from the Republicans was old William Howard Taft who approved of banking for the nation.

Senator Nelson Aldrich, known as "Morgan’s floor broker in the Senate," had a daughter married to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Mr. Aldrich worked with Paul Warburg, of the Warburg banking dynasty, at Jekyll Island, Georgia, to create what has become known as the Federal Reserve System. This meeting was one of secrecy, and only those who had a need to know were there, or later informed.

Aldrich drew up a bill to present to Congress called the Aldrich Bill, proposing a national banking system. It was killed. Since Congress would not pass it, there were other ways. They had William Howard Taft support the Aldrich plan in Taft’s campaign for President, and had Woodrow Wilson propose a Federal Reserve System — both identical. History has shown that Wilson won the Presidency. And — you guessed it — we got the federal reserve banking system.

Most people believe that the Federal Reserve with its 12 regional banking members are part of the federal government. It is not. Don’t let the word Federal fool you. It is not federal. It is not anymore Federal than the Federal Express mailing system. The name is only a deceptive device to trick people into believing it is federal, and part of our government. As one individual put it, playing on words from Shakespeare: "A thorn by any other name, will stick you just the same."

The following quotes come from a publication put out by the information department of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York entitled, I bet you thought. . .:

"Many banks carry very official-sounding names . . . but they aren’t run by, owned, or part of government. . . . Commercial banks are privately owned businesses. . . .
"The 12 regional Reserve Banks aren’t government institutions but corporations nominally ‘owned’ by member commercial banks. . . ." (I bet you thought. . . , pp. 15, 21.)

As you can see from these quotes from their own publication, they admit that they are "privately owned." Now who are those who own the Federal Reserve? We know it is not the government. The Federal Reserve is owned by ten of the world’s largest banking houses. Eight of them are: 1) Rothschilds of London and Berlin; 2) Lazares Brothers of Paris; 3) Israel Moses Seaf of Italy; 4) Warburg and Company of Hamburg, Germany; 5) Kuhn, Loeb and Company of Germany and New York; 6) Lehman Brothers of New York; 7) Goldman, Sachs of New York; and 8) Rockefeller Brothers of New York.

Our current Prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson, felt most of our national economic troubles started with the government and the Federal Reserve. Of this he said,

"The very beginning of our troubles can be traced to the day when the federal government overstepped its proper defensive function and began to manipulate the monetary system to accomplish political objectives. The creation of the Federal Reserve Board made it possible for the first time in America for men arbitrarily to change the value of our money." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 638.)

Interest is Usury
Banking is business, and the intent of business is to make money. How does a bank make money? By charging interest on loans! That interest is usury.

Now the current dictionary will tell us that usury is "an excessive or unlawfully high rate or amount of interest." That comes from one of Webster’s current dictionaries. However, that is not what usury is. Usury is interest — period. From the popular Smith’s Bible Dictionary we read:
"The word usury has come in modern English to mean excessive interest upon money loaned, either formally illegal or at least oppressive. In the scriptures, however, the word did not bear this sense, but meant simply interest of any kind upon money." (A Dictionary of the Bible, p. 723.)
And from Bouvier, we find much the same thing: "USURY. The excess over the legal rate charged to a borrower of the use of money. Originally, the word was applied to all interest reserved for the use of money; and in the early ages taking such interest was not allowed." (Bouvier, p. 3380.)
Now we go to one more source, A New Abridgment of the Law, so we are sure we have an understanding that interest is the same as usury:

"USURY, in a strict sense, is a contract upon the loan of money to give the lender a certain profit for the use of it. . . .
"Anciently it was holden to be absolutely unlawful for Christians to take any kind of usury, and that whosoever was guilty of it was liable to be punished by the censures of the church in his lifetime; and that if after death any one was found to have been a usurer while living, all his chattels were forfeited to the king, and his lands escheated to the lord of the fee.
"Also, it seemeth to have been the opinion of the makers of some acts of parliament, . .that all kinds of usury are contrary to good conscience.
"And agreeably thereto it seemeth formerly to have been the general opinion, that no action could be maintained on any promise to pay any kind of use for the forbearance of money, because that all such contracts were thought to be unlawful, and, consequently, void." (A New Abridgment of The Law, 1854, pp. 264-65.)

Now that sheds a whole new light on the subject in which most Americans are involved, that is, the taking of usury (interest) from our fellow man. That would include interest paid on loans from banks for a house, car, education, credit cards, etc.; interest demanded for late payment on accounts from doctors, lawyers and other types of service agreements; and interest paid to any person, or any entity such as a corporation, or some other business.

When we participate in interest, either in receiving it, or paying it, we are violating one of God’s strict laws. Due to the traditions of our fathers, we have come to believe that such a practice is okay and legal. But writing a law does not change the Lord’s feelings about it. Let’s see what He had to say about the practice. From the Bible, we read the following:
"If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury." (Ex. 22:25.)
"Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase." (Lev. 25:36-37.)
"Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury. Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it." (Deut. 23:19-20.)

This last quote is interesting where it says, "Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury." What the law of Israel was, is that the people could not charge interest or usury to their fellow Israelites. They could, however, do so with the stranger from a foreign country. Here is a question to consider: Are we not all, in this LDS Church at least, brothers and sisters in Israel? Are we not descended from those same people the Lord talked to in the Bible? If so, shouldn’t we be obeying the same laws they were to obey since we are of Israel?

The Prophet Jeremiah defends himself by saying: "I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me." (Jer. 15:10.) And when speaking of the last days and the Lord’s plagues upon the earth, Isaiah wrote, "And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. (Isa. 24:2.) Other scriptural references on the subject can be found in Neh. 5:7, 10; Ps. 15:5, Prov. 28:8, and Ezek. 18:8, 13, 17, 22:12.

Now how does all this stand in relation to the parable that Jesus gives in Matthew 25:14-28 when He speaks of usury? In that parable, a man delivered unto his servants talents — to one servant five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent. And then the man left.

When the man returned, his servants presented unto him an increase in the talents that were entrusted with them. But of the servant with which he left one talent, there was no increase. This last servant justified his actions, or lack of action, with:

"Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
"His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
"Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
"Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents." (See Matt. 25:14-28.)

The lord did not say here that the servant should have gained usury or interest upon the talent. What the lord gave in return was a negative response to a defamation of the lord’s character by the servant. The servant said he, the lord, was a "hard man," meaning a strict man. The servant also said that He was "reaping" and "gathering" where he did not sow, or, in other words, the lord was someone who cheats.

The lord, therefore responded by calling him "slothful," and in essence said to him: "If you knew that I cheat people and I am dishonest, then why didn’t you put my money to use, gathering interest, which is also dishonest?"

His response to the servant was a question much like the question given to the Savior by one of the thieves on a cross next to Him, who said, "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us." (Luke 23:39.) In the modern day vernacular, we might say it was a "flippant" rebuttal. The Lord’s response to the servant was a negative question for the purpose of making a positive point.

The Evils of Debt
The paying and receiving of interest is evil because it assumes something that does not exist, and that is deception. When we make someone pay us interest, we are taking from him something that we have not earned. And when we pay interest, we are taking the bread out of our mouths. As Cicero, the great Roman statesman, once put it: ". . . it is a usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance. . . ." (Quoted in AEHDT, p. 222.)

Interest, or usury, brings debt. Now all debt does not come from interest. But, interest increases a person’s debt by such proportions that it becomes, in many cases, impossible to pay back.

When a loan is contracted for, only the principle is borrowed, the interest is not borrowed but must be made up from nothing.

Let us make the following illustration: Suppose there are two men stranded on an island. The first man has a one dollar-bill, and the second has none. The second wants to borrow the dollar, to which the first agrees. However, the first man wants the second man to pay 10% interest, which would be 10 cents. The total pay back, including principle plus interest, is $1.10. Question: If the only money available, in the first place, is the dollar the first man had, where will the second man get the extra ten cents to pay the interest? It does not exist, because it was not created — it is an illusionary amount.

Now a person might say, "I borrow money, and through my business profits, I earn enough to pay the principle and interest, so what’s the problem?"

The problem is that the interest was not created in the form of "hard cash." The money the person made through his business profits was the principle someone else earned or borrowed previously.

Let us work out an example using a 30-year mortgage on a $60,000 house. At a current interest rate of 10%, with monthly payments of $527 (figures came from a bank loan officer), the amount paid over the 30-year period, principle and interest, will be $189,720. If we subtract the $60,000 principle from the total paid, we find that the usury collected by the bank is $129,720. Now many people know that they pay three times as much for a house when they finance it this way. That is why many want to pay it off sooner than contracted for, if possible.

Using this same example from above, let’s get into the banks practice of "fractional reserve banking." Fractional reserve banking simply means that a bank must keep on hand a certain amount of the deposits, against which they can make more loans. From the same bank officer that supplied the figures above, we find that the amount needed to be kept against loans is 3-5%. Using the 5% figure, the following is what can happen with the same $60,000 from the house purchase.

After a person commits himself into a $60,000 bondage contract for 30 years, he pays for the house with that borrowed money. The seller takes the money and deposits it in bank "A." Bank "A" must keep 5% of that $60,000 on hand, which is $3,000 — he can then loan out $57,000 to someone else. The one who borrows the $57,000 purchases something for that amount, and the recipient of the money deposits the $57,000 into bank "B." Bank "B" must keep 5% on hand, and can then loan out the balance, etc, etc, etc. After this author carried this out 50 steps, he came up with a total amount of money that could be loaned out on the original $60,000 — it was $1,063,146, with $5,812 still left to loan.

We must remember that the $60,000 represents the only money available. The other money loaned, is fictitious, and does not exist; it is only a bookkeeping entry or a stroke of a computer key.

Let us consider our current national debt to the Federal Reserve as found in the February, 1993, Federal Reserve Bulletin. The U.S. Treasury had a total gross public debt at the end of September, 1993, of $4,411,500,000,000. That is four trillion dollars. (Federal Reserve Bulletin, December 1993, p. A30.) At the end of September, 1991, it was $3,665,300,000,000. That is an increase of 20%. (The accumulation of all personal debts in the United States is over $12 Trillion.) How much is $4 trillion? Let us put this in perspective: If Noah started at the time of the flood (about 2,400 B.C.), spending $2 million PER DAY, it would take him until 79 years after the millennium (assuming it to be 3,000 AD) to spend the entire $4 trillion. And most of this debt comes from interest or usury. As the Feds tell us themselves: "Almost all Federal Reserve earnings come from the interest paid by the U.S. government. . ." (I bet you thought..., p. 23.)

Someone might ask why the U.S. Treasury does not print up more money. Well, it cannot without authorization from the Fed. A statement in the publication previously cited, from the Federal Reserve, states:

"The Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C., a unit of the Treasury, is responsible for printing the nation’s currency. But its orders to print come from the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, not the President or Congress. The Reserve Banks, not the Treasury, determine how much currency is printed, based mainly on estimates of depository institutions and public cash demands. Under this arrangement, the government can’t print more Federal Reserve notes to pay its bills or debts." (Ibid., p. 25.)

From this we can understand how money is created out of nothing. Paper money can be created, with out the backing of gold or silver, at the will of the banks, but only in the amount to cover the principle demanded by the populace. The interest, or usury, is not created but is a fictitious amount appearing only on bookkeeping ledgers and in computers — an amount that CANNOT be paid in cash because it does not exist.

This type of debt is the most seductive and seditious type of debt. It is seductive because people think they are doing well when they appear to prosper, when in reality they are living in an illusion. And, it is seditious because the aim of the bankers is to subjugate the nations of the world into a one-world slave society.

The Book of Proverbs tells us, "The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." (Prov. 22:7.) And Benjamin Franklin said, ". . . ah, think what you do when you run into debt; you give to another power over your liberty." (The Real Benjamin Franklin, p. 348.) President Benson counseled us in the following words:

"The Lord desires his Saints to be free and independent in the critical days ahead. But no man is truly free who is in financial bondage." (God, Family, Country, p. 268.)
"No man in debt is truly free. He who has not learned thrift and economy is constantly beset with problems and misgivings about the future. His own freedom and peace of mind are endangered. Those dependent upon him are likewise jeopardized in their self-respect and freedom." (TETB, p. 292.)

The Federal Reserve confesses that their "earnings come from interest paid by the U.S. government," that is, all of us; because we have authorized Congress to create this banking monster. The interest earnings, as of this writing, is more than four trillion dollars, of tax money. They also control the amount of currency in circulation. With this power, they can inflate it, deflate it, or call it out of circulation, causing extraordinary economic chaos.

Paying the Debt
As we begin the discussion of paying debts, let us turn to another statement from Ezra Taft Benson. In one of his early books he wrote: "Deficit spending and lending, if continued unabated, will lead us into the Russian trap envisioned by Lenin, who was reported to have said,‘We shall force the United States to spend itself into destruction.’" (TRC, p. 167.)

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, says, "The Congress shall have Power To . . . pay the Debts. . . ." Bouvier says that a debt is, "A sum of money due by certain and express agreement. . . . All that is due a man under any form of obligation or promise." (Bouvier, p. 786.)

However, Congress has "nullified" this clause in the Constitution because it has relegated its authority to the Federal Reserve, and we have no more gold or silver in the national treasury to pay the debt.

Because of the massive debt the U.S. had accumulated since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, President Franklin Roosevelt put out an Executive Order, issued April 5, 1933. The twenty-year contractual period was up in 1933 and the debt was due. The national government handed over its gold to the Federal Reserve and, to make up the difference, demanded the people of the U.S. to turn over to the government their gold. The Executive Order read, in part:

"UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER OF THE PRESIDENT, Issued April 5, 1933, all persons are required to deliver ON OR BEFORE MAY 1, 1933, all GOLD COIN, GOLD BULLION, AND GOLD CERTIFICATES now owned by them to a Federal Reserve Bank, branch or agency, or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System. . . . CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER $10,000 fine or 10 years, imprisonment, or both, provided in Section 9 of the order."

To make sure this order was carried out, the government went into all of the safety deposit boxes and took out gold. However, the people were able to keep jewelry and table flat-ware (knives, forks, and spoons) made of gold.

Thomas Jefferson warned us, long ago, of such a future possibility when he wrote about the disastrous results of the first national bank of the United States:

"With this act, the Treasury of the United States went broke, and this nation has been in bondage ever since to foreigners.
"From the establishment of the United States Bank to this day, I have preached against this system, and have been sensible no cure could be hoped but in the catastrophe now happening . . . we must make up our minds to suffer yet longer before we can get right. The misfortune is that in the meantime we shall plunge ourselves in inextinguishable debt, and entail on our posterity an inheritance of eternal taxes. . . ." (The Real Thomas Jefferson, p. 550-551.)

The Greatest Cause of Debt
One of Utah’s notable state legislators said (as well as this author can personally remember) that the greatest majority of calls that are received from constituents represent those who want more welfare and handouts. Why is this? — and in a state which is supposed to be very conservative? A little study can show that Utah is one of the most flagrant abusers of Social Welfare (socialism) and of the people’s rights in the nation.

We as a nation have come to expect a handout, and that our government will take care of us. Such demanding expectations put a burden on the government to produce, and the taxpayer must pay it. By such a program, this nation goes deeper in debt, and the interest piles up. This was not the intent of our Founding Fathers, as Jefferson explains: "I am for a government that is rigorously frugal and simple, and not for one that multiplies offices to make partisans, that is, to get votes, and by every device increases the public debt under the guise of being a public benefit." (TRC, p. 142; TNSE, p. 78.)

Our American system of social policies is a major root of our social, economic and moral problems. It is unfortunate that we have chosen to accept the system by way of apathy or ignorance instead of taking time and energy to change the social order for the permanent benefits of self-government. We often fail to determine our own lives because we take the path of least resistance and decline pushing for appropriate social change. We therefore fight symptoms instead of fixing the cause.

It’s hard to fathom why we still desire and vote for social welfare programs, with governmental controls, which keep us in perpetual debt. President Benson said, "One reason for the increase in debt causes great concern. This is the rise of materialism as contrasted with spiritual values." (TETB, p. 290.)

The Lord has said to us: "Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another," (D&C 101:79.) and that we should, "Owe no man anything," (Rom. 13:8.) therefore we should, "pay thy debt, and live." (2 Kgs. 4:7.)

The majority of our national and personal troubles with debt is the desire for someone else to pay our way. Therefore, we borrow into debt and become slaves — a debt our posterity will have to bear. We must remember: the debt incurred today is paid tomorrow. And by whom? — our children, that is who. In 1816, Thomas Jefferson put it in these words: "I sincerely believe . . . that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." (The Real Thomas Jefferson, p. 356.)

In the presence of such scriptural evidence, counseling from our prophets and church leaders, and warnings from political and other notable figures in the world, it is amazing that we continue courting this branch of the socialistic conspiracy.

It may be easy to understand why a poor, destitute individual may want the dole because of his desperation, laziness, or greed, and think that socialism, and its accompanying social-welfare state, is the united order. It is not the United Order! It is Lucifer’s worldly counterfeit of God’s righteous program of the Law of Consecration.

We might ask, "Why do so-called intelligent and learned individuals, even we of Israel, choose such socialistic programs?" It is as though Isaiah 29:14 is fulfilled in them: ". . . for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."

Welfare is Legal Plunder
It is interesting to consider, that if person "A" takes money out of the pocket of person "B," without "B’s" permission, that is called stealing. But if "A" gets the government to take money out of "B’s" pocket without "B’s" permission, that is called "social welfare." We might ask, "What is the difference?" It seems that theft is theft, no matter what you call it. Frederick Bastiat puts it this way:

"When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it - without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud - to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed.
"But how is the legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.
"Nothing can enter the public treasury for the benefit of one citizen or one class unless other citizens and other classes have been forced to send it in. If every person draws from the treasury the amount that he has put in it, it is true that the law then plunders nobody. But this procedure does nothing for the persons who have no money. It does not promote equality of income. The law can be an instrument of equalization only as it takes from some persons and gives to other persons. When the law does this, it is an instrument of plunder.
"It is impossible to introduce into society . . . a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder." (The Law, pp. 26, 21, 30-31, 12, respectfully.)

How can the government give something to the people without first getting it from the people? When we ask the government to pay our way, they demand payment from us so they can give it back to us. But with that "give back," there are strings attached — those strings are contracts and agreements — or we do not get our money back. By such contracts and agreements we lien our rights away. We must remember that the Nephites, after the Savior visited them, had no poor among them. This was not because their government supported them, but because they had the faith that the Lord would provide; and He did — until they became puffed up in pride again, and fell, having to depend again on government.

In Conclusion
We often covet that which we do not have and which is possessed by another. The coveting of possessions can make us willing to go into debt for them. This going into debt can give the elusion of getting something for nothing or receiving that which has not been earned. The debtor is willing to pay much interest for the debt of elusion.

As we have learned in this chapter, both debt and usury (interest) run contrary to God’s principle of free agency. When we are in debt to another we are not free to act for ourselves; we have contracted our freedom away. Debt is bondage, enslavement, and servitude. Interest — compound interest in particular — put the debtor under perpetual contract and the resulting slavery. The coveting of financial wealth, gathering possessions, having others serve us, and the holding of positions, has lead this people, this nation, and this world under the condemnation of the Almighty who has declared, "Thou shalt not covet."

Free agency was the main reason there was a war in heaven. When we are in debt we have to serve our credit masters and we are not free to serve the Lord. When we choose the debt and usury system of credit and interest, we are choosing bondage. We help win the battle of freedom in the pre-earth life, are we going to lose it here?

As we have seen, the usury we pay the big banking system helps to support those principles which destroy lives and enslave nations. By being in debt to the banking establishments of the world, we are literally (and perhaps, ignorantly) taking part in the death and misery of many souls. Our time, talents, the usury we pay, and all that we have, go to support these ungodly principles of which we may be held accountable if we do not change our ways. President J. Reuben Clark, said, "Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow. . . . Let us straightly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little. . . . Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage." (CR, April, 1937, p. 26.)

We have gotten ourselves locked into a system of money and banking that have become a way of life — as Ezra Taft Benson said, "We have lived in an atmosphere of inflation for so long that many people now accept the benefits of permanent debt as a firm law of economics." (AEHDT, p. 220.) It is not a firm law of economics, it is the devil’s own plan to enslave God’s children.

Now we know that the system of banking, paper money, interest, credit and debt, that we have been warned against for many years by authorities of the Church and our Founding Fathers, is evil. Are we going to continue to support this branch of the church of the devil or are we going to get out of debt and be free as the Lord has commanded?

We have covered a lot of information in this chapter — about every aspect of which many books have been written. It was given with the hope that all of us can become more aware of how "We the People" have permitted parts of our Constitution to be ignored or nullified, and how the evil forces of socialistic-banking is crippling our nation and our personal lives.

We must be aware that, though there are sinister forces trying to overthrow this nation, we alone are responsible. Many of us possess a certain amount of greed, and we have not been vigilant in trying to understand the principle of free agency and how it relates to the Constitution and our eternal welfare.

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