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Saturday, October 15, 2016
The International Banks Conspiracy, ExplainedIf you're not a white supremacist, you may have missed why some people are saying Donald Trump's stump speeches echo anti-Semitic tropes, with references to a conspiracy of secret meetings "with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial power." I discussed the origins of this language in a paper earlier this year on the sovereign citizen movement, excerpted below. It's worth noting in this context that Trump has specifically called out the Federal Reserve in recent weeks for being part of a conspiracy to defeat his campaign.
"Only falsehoods and false principles need be discussed in mysterious terms," wrote Gertrude Coogan, author of the 1935 tract Money Creators, cited by Posse as a guide to American economic history. "Any citizen of ordinary mentality can readily understand the money system of this country."[i] This concept—that something must be simple in order to be true—paradoxically serves to undermine the reality of history and modern economics, even as its proponents generate conspiracy theories that are often themselves breathtakingly complex.
Among other things, Coogan claimed the Civil War was not about slavery but instead was the result of a conspiracy by "certain bankers" and "internationalists" to weaken America for future economic exploitation. Coogan's book was coy about the identity of the "international money masters and their domestic pawns" who were responsible for subverting the Constitution and destroying capitalism, but other authors cited by Posse did not bother to mask their anti-Semitism. Eustace Mullins, author of the Posse-recommended The Federal Reserve Conspiracy, dutifully enumerated the biographies of the "enemy aliens" who had seized control of the American banking system with information cited to the "Who's Who in American Jewry."[ii]
The short version of these various theories is that "international bankers," usually meaning Jews, rendered U.S. currency worthless in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve. These theories generally hold that the international banking conspiracy was intended to subject Americans to "economic slavery." A 1968 Omni Publications pamphlet, The Green Magicians, blamed World War II on an "internationalist" effort to crush Hitler's superior financial system and includes an anti-Semitic quote falsely attributed to Ben Franklin. The "bankers" were in turn tied to the spread of Communism, a common theme in such publications from the 1950s onward.
Many of these concepts have filtered down into the sovereign citizen movement, but usually in a much-diluted form. While white supremacy and anti-Semitism can certainly be found among sovereign citizens, sovereign texts tend to strip out many details, including direct references to Jewish conspiracies, presenting a greatly simplified version of events with vague references to "bankers" as the source of the conspiracy. Key elements that have been carried into the modern movement, at something of a distance from their original context, include the sinister nature of the Federal Reserve, a host of incorrect inferences related to the effect of America's public debt, and the illusory nature of credit and the U.S. currency, with the accompanying implications for money-making procedures and schemes.
[i] Coogan, Gertrude. Money Creators. Unknown (1935).
[ii] Mullins, Eustace. The Federal Reserve Conspiracy. Christian Educational Association (1954).
Buy the new book ISIS: The State of Terror by Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger.
Buy J.M. Berger's seminal book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam
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