By Wade Frazier
The Life Insurance Racket
A Neocolonialist Speaks Out
The Darker Side of the Banking Game
Housing and Construction
The Capitalism Racket
America’s three most wasteful and useless industries are probably energy, medicine and war; all three barely deserve to exist, if at all, although they comprise about a third of the American economy in retail dollars, and perhaps more than half of the economy, when costs are considered that the market does not measure, such as environmental devastation, interest on the national debt (as well as the debt itself), infrastructure costs and so forth. Also, the impossible-to-calculate cost in human suffering is at awesome levels in all three industries. The situations painted in this site’s relevant essays argue in support of the thesis that the larger, more powerful and more monopolistic any industry or profession becomes, the more it degenerates into a racket, eventually becoming a dinosaur that only stays alive because it has hogged all the nearby fodder and kills anything that comes near. Also, because the United States is largely a nation of brainwashed people, the idea that people need those industries has been deeply ingrained.
Although those three industries may be the starkest examples of racketeering in business, they are by no means the only industries that are worthless, or garner a far greater share of America’s economic pie than is fair. In medicine, professionals and industries have combined to create a medical-industrial complex. Other industries and professions also complement the big three rackets, and help form American society’s power structure. This essay will present other industries and professions that are corrupted, greatly inflated or simply worthless. Some could simply fade away to the oblivion they deserve, while others deserve a far smaller stature than they currently enjoy.
Areas of American life that are filled with death, dying, suffering and misery are also where the big money is made. American doctors and lawyers are the earth’s two most highly paid professional groups, and there is about zero societal benefit derived from their efforts. The war industry has always been incredibly lucrative for weapons suppliers, and usually for the “winners," who were not the soldiers. Tobacco companies have been immensely profitable. In terms of profits as a percent of sales, the pharmaceutical business is America’s most lucrative. The industries that have relentlessly raped the land, mining and forestry in particular, have always done great while the mines and forests lasted, leaving behind devastated landscapes when the dust settled.
The recent trend to privatize the prison system in America is ominous, particularly when corporations are putting factories in the prisons, paying the inmates wages below the minimum wage, as they work for such companies as Microsoft (controlled by the world’s richest man), in what is effectively a new era of slave labor, where the labor force is in the strongest sense, captive. There is being created an economic incentive to put people in prison, only different by degree from the concentration camp labor situation of Nazi Germany during World War II. The journalist-turned-professor Nathan McCall spent years in prison when he was younger, and a memorable, ironic moment was when he worked on the prison farm. There was a black man in the South, down on all fours, picking vegetables, while nearby was the ever-present “white, shotgun-toting prison guard.” McCall thought about the lives of his ancestors, wondering if it looked the same during slavery.
With the world's largest prison population, bringing capitalism to the American prison industry is creating an incentive to lock up more people, because the more prisoners there are, the more money is made. There is increasingly no pretense of "protecting" the public (or even rehabilitation), as most inmates are in there for drug "crimes." All law enforcement agencies across America, including the judges, have their hands in the drug trade to some degree (I know it went on in Ventura County), as it is highly lucrative, which makes the entire imprisoning apparatus appear hypocritical, as judges and sheriffs lock up their customers, although judges and law enforcement operate more on the wholesale level, as they lock up the retail customers, making money going and coming.
The industries and professions this essay examines have varying levels of racketeering in them; some are relatively benign, while others are more malignant.
The Life Insurance Racket
The case can be made to nearly entirely eliminate the life insurance industry. Life insurance, as with all insurance, is supposed to be a way to “spread the risk” of living on earth.
It is a good and compassionate idea to design a system that can provide for each other as the disasters of life befall us. Death can come at any time, although in our civilized world, deaths before “old age” are increasingly rare. During our lives, people can come to depend on us at times, particularly our children. In tribal life and the extended families before our modern age, the child was not in a “nuclear” family, so the issue of premature parental death was not as big as today.
A system to spread risk should be simple. In life insurance, for instance, death rates by age group and other trends are easy to come by, requiring no great skill. Spreading the risk of an untimely death is easy. There can be arguments on how to do it equitably, and a national tax that all income-earners would pay into, with benefits mildly graduated along income levels and financial dependents, the dependents’ ages and the age of the earner, is a possibility. Arguments can be made about adjustments for smokers, construction workers, number of dependents, et cetera, but those are minor strategic arguments, not fundamental ones. Somebody sixty-five years old generally will not have anybody depending on his/her earnings for the subsequent twenty years, as a twenty-five-year-old father would. Who would not want their dependents somehow provided for if they die before their time? Administering the income and payments would be elementary. In life insurance, there is little need for claims adjusters and the adversarial nature that all-too-often typifies other types of insurance, pitting claimant against insurer. Death is not a debatable condition. Similar logic could be applied to all areas of insurance, such as casualty, medical, et cetera. That is not how it operates in our capitalistic world, however.
The first life insurance policy on record was written in London on June 18, 1536, a one-year policy on the life of William Gybbons. Gybbons died on May 29, 1537, run over by a hit-and-run bullock cart. In a telling beginning to the industry and a comment on insurance in general, the company refused to pay the widow and children of Gybbons, insisting that a year consisted of twelve months of four weeks each, making Gybbons’ unfortunate death a few days outside of the policy period. The widow took the insurers to court and won, as the insurers’ logic was rejected.
In the early 1800s in America, during the industry’s early days, “term insurance” was the only kind there was. The policy was as simple as it sounds. It insured against a person’s death for a specified time. Because America was far from any socialistic (i.e., taking care of each other) leanings then, insuring one’s life was a strictly commercial affair. The problem was that with term insurance, the risk of death was greater as the policyholder aged, so premiums increased over time. The people who tended to get the insurance were relatively unhealthy or had other risks of untimely death. Wives of surgeons were uninsurable in those days, for instance. The risk was not being spread around, and insurance companies got bankrupted; the industry’s survival was in question.
In response to that problem, a two-fold ploy was invented, and is today called “whole life.” Whole life’s premiums did not escalate with age, and there was a “savings” portion put into the policy benefit, meaning that insurance companies became bankers. The simple idea of insuring one’s life then became complicated. There are arguments that the change was necessary if the industry was going to survive, but instead of creating a safety net for the masses, life insurance became a tremendous scam. By 1900, the industry was as corrupt as all the other robber baron industries, which prompted a New York State investigation in 1905 called the Armstrong Joint Legislative Inquiry, which unearthed many grim activities. America’s “faith” in the industry evaporated, and it took a combination of some minor reforms and a lot of public relations to make life insurance “respectable” many years later. Yet, its “respectability” is not really earned.
In the 1994 Consumer Reports Life Insurance Handbook, the state of the life insurance industry was summarized (I have not looked into this situation for several years, but doubt that much has changed). The book called for reforming the industry, citing virtually no price competition between the companies, no effective regulation from state insurance commissioners (who more often act as advocates of the life insurance companies than the life insurance customer - the regulator was captured), and a dearth of honest sales tactics, where lying and scam policies, particularly directed at the elderly, were rampant.
Anybody who puts their money into a savings account at a bank knows their rate of interest. With whole life, the customer does not know. The insurance companies merged the life insurance and savings portions of their policies, and the policyholders never knew what their “return on investment” was. With whole life policies, the rate of return can be negative, and has been, but the policyholder never knows. The life insurance industry was able to get away with it, with many greased palms in government along the way. Less than half of the money taken in by life insurance companies goes to pay benefits, the rest pays for high rises across America with life insurance company names on the top, huge executive salaries, corporate junkets, amazingly high salesman’s commissions, and often incredible profits. Consumers get a better payout from the state-run lotteries. Even the “non-profit” status of mutual companies is largely illusory, as life insurance companies control more than one and a half trillion dollars in assets, and throw around a great deal of economic and political muscle, defeating all meaningful attempts to regulate their avaricious empire-building, gained by bilking the consumer.
The scam would be less onerous if the consumer had a choice, but people generally could not buy term insurance in America until the past generation. The policies existed, but no salesman would sell one. The Consumer’s Union of United States, Inc., the publisher of Consumer Reports, has advocated buying term insurance for almost all people for more than fifty years. Yet, it was nearly impossible to buy term life insurance in America. The reason was that term was not profitable enough. In the words of Consumer Reports,
“Although most companies offer term policies, selling term rarely brings in big profits, and companies encourage their agents to sell the more expensive alternatives. Encouragement takes the form of generous compensation for cash value policies. Naturally, agents - like most people - usually sell the products that earn them the biggest commission.”
Consumer Reports discussed the deceptions that life insurance salesmen use to dissuade consumers from buying the vastly cheaper term policy, as did Norman Dacey in his classic work, What’s Wrong with Your Life Insurance.
The life insurance industry has relied on secrecy and lies to sell its product, such as the canard of “permanent need” and not telling customers where their premium dollar really went. If a public charity had such a low percent going to beneficiaries, it would be a tremendous scandal. More than ninety percent of money taken in going to beneficiaries is a normal percent these days for charities, after a number of scandals in the “charity” business. There is arguably $200 billion a year going into zero benefit for the life insurance consumer in America today. There is no rationale for life insurance payments being less than 95% of income for a national life insurance plan, except the need to build corporate empires. Today, the Social Security Administration provides a life insurance benefit for millions of people, with its administrative fee being less than 1% of income. The life insurance industry largely does not deserve to exist, except the rationale of capitalism and making people rich off the idea. The industry is basically $200 billion a year of pocket lining. If the ultra rich want to insure their lives for big dollars, although there is virtually no rational need to do that, there may be a small legitimate market for commercial life insurance. If insurance companies want to be legitimate investment advisors, let them compete with other financial advisors, and not hide investment “management” fees behind life insurance premiums. The latest scam of the industry is “universal” life insurance, which Dacey exposes as the old scam (an even better scam, perhaps) in new clothing, in chapter 15 of his book.
Governments can be prodigiously wasteful, but profiting off of selling addicting substances to people and profiting off of misery and death (or the fear of it) may be the darkest aspect of our capitalistic system. Those areas are precisely where the big money is made in America.
There is some good news to report. Life insurance is also the only industry I know of where somebody succeeded in fighting its corruption and impacting their racket: enter A. L. Williams. He is something of an American legend today, and the only instance I know of where one man took on a huge, corrupt industry, and won. Williams started around 1980, only selling term insurance. His father died when he was young, and the life insurance proceeds did support the family long, and Williams eventually took on the industry, selling term insurance with part-time agents selling from their homes. Term insurance was the only kind of insurance they sold. Williams was selling affordable life insurance to the consumer, targeting the average American wage earner, and not using the proceeds to build high-rises and fund lavish corporate perks. The life insurance industry banded together and fought his company in a number of states. The racket was threatened.
By the mid-1980s, Williams’ company was skyrocketing, and by the 1990s sold by far the most life insurance protection of any company. Primerica was slandered throughout the industry. I saw the industry’s propaganda campaign against Primerica first-hand, when I have shopped for life insurance. As with every company, particularly one so successful, some Williams agents did some questionable things, there was some empire-building going on in the company, and Williams himself left the company under a cloud of allegations. I wonder how much of that controversy was covertly brought into being by the life insurance industry’s clandestine efforts. With A. L. Williams, the average American parent of young children got life insurance that was really affordable for the first time, and that term life insurance did the only thing that “life” insurance is supposed to do: insure the interest of financial dependents in the event of a breadwinner’s death. Before A. L. Williams came along, people simply could not insure their lives in America, but had to buy the insurance companies’ other “financial services” that were wrapped into the package.
It can be argued that 150 years ago, when the life insurance industry was young, our government had no socialist leanings, so the industry was justified. Those days are long gone, and insuring untimely deaths would be one of the simplest things the government could do, and few in America would not support such a measure (except of course, the insurance industry). The life insurance establishment is so rich (from taking in more premium than was needed) that it is a huge economic and political powerhouse. It will not go away quietly. I favor dismantling the industry, fairly. I have a similar idea for energy, cancer treatment, and the other rackets. I favor letting them walk away from the table with enough chips to live well on, but calling the game over. Then the future money saved could be put to something productive, such as retraining life insurance salesmen and oncologists into productive members of society.
Americans saw the clout of a related insurance industry a decade ago when health care reform was attempted by the Clinton administration. The only real opponent to it was the medical establishment, with the health insurance companies leading the attack. Wealth and power talks, very loudly, and they shot it down, along with intense lobbying and a propaganda barrage that is confusing Americans even today.
An odd thing about the issue is this: let's say that the life insurance industry was dealt a crushing blow by an epidemic disease or a meteor hitting New York City. Just as in the Savings and Loan disaster, the government would make the taxpayer pick up the tab anyway. The taxpayers are in effect insuring the life insurance industry anyway.
I studied money and banking in college, audited several banks during my career and also worked for them. Banking can be quite abstract, and it can be difficult to see the bigger picture. I witnessed the beginning of the Savings and Loan Scandal, from the inside, with my boss frankly admitting that my profession abetted it due to its structure, where auditors were not truly independent. The point has recently been driven home even harder with the Enron and other corporate scandals, although there still is no move to reform it.
During my days with Dennis Lee, before he was arrested the first time, I heard and read many right-wing theories about how the international banking system worked, how they were behind the Lincoln assassination and so forth. A summary of that brand of theorizing is in Epperson's The Unseen Hand, and Mullins' The Secrets of the Federal Reserve. Those works are considered conspiratorial scholarship, and Edward Flaherty has a web site on the Internet devoted to debunking the "myths" that Mullins promotes. From the structural (left wing) perspective is William Greider's Secrets of the Temple, How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country. I had a difficult time believing the overarching conspiracy theory regarding the way the international banking system worked. Yet, I saw too many strange things to blithely dismiss the conspiratorial perspective; my attitude was kind of "wait and see." Even so, many aspects of the banking system were startling, from a structural perspective.
From the radical perspective comes the work of Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman and other towering academics. Herman teaches economics at Wharton, one of the world's most prestigious business schools. Herman has produced many devastating analyses of how the capitalist system exploits the world's poor. His Triumph of the Market is an excellent introduction. Herman’s work stacks up against any economist’s. Herman, Chomsky and others point out how the international banking scene operates.
Two banking institutions that have played primary roles in enslaving billions of people are the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They are both neocolonial institutions that really work under the auspices of the United States banking system, although they are supposedly UN institutions. Their policies have led to a great deal of starvation worldwide. No longer does the British flag fly over India and a quarter of the globe. The mechanisms are different, although their ultimate effects are nearly the same.
Here is how it works in the neocolonial world. The IMF makes a loan to a foreign government, for development, so they say. The loan is to a U.S. client state, which means that it is a dictatorship. The dictator and his cronies pocket most of the loan, where it ends up in their Swiss bank accounts (or the loan goes to building roads for oil company use, although the nation’s citizens own few cars). Legally, however, the nation is on the hook for the loan, not the dictator. The loan did not provide anything productive for the subject nation's economy, but just lined a dictator's pockets (or helped American corporations more effectively exploit the nation). The nation now has to pay the loan back. How do they do that? They end up raising crops for export to earn "foreign exchange" so they can pay the debt back, or chop down their forests, open their nation to strip mining, let the oil companies rape them or allow U.S. corporations to move there, taking advantage of the cheap labor there while putting Americans out of work. The IMF devises "Structural Adjustment Programs," (SAPs) that spell out those policies.
Land that was used to grow food for the local population is instead used to grow food or other crops (such as jute) for export. The local population starves so they can pay off the IMF loan, which went into their dictator's pockets. That is not a rare occurrence, but a typical neocolonial mechanism used to rape the "Third World." The relief organization Oxfam has published numerous papers on that issue. The last time I looked several years ago, of the forty poorest nations on earth, thirty-six exported food to the United States. That is how America gets cheap bananas, while the people picking the bananas, such as in Costa Rica and Guatemala, cannot afford to feed their children. Billions of people have been exploited in just that fashion. That is why it is called neocolonialism. The American flag does not fly over Costa Rica and Guatemala, but America gets their food. If the banana pickers rise up against those exploitative conditions, the United States bankrolls death squads to keep the people in line, as in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Indonesia and so on. If it gets too out of control, then America sends in the Marines, to "restore democracy." Wink, nudge. Suharto and friends raped the Indonesian economy in neocolonial fashion to the tune of sixty billion dollars, eventually collapsing an economy that was already enslaved to Western interests. The IMF “rode to the rescue” in 1998, and its SAP was so draconian that the populace rose up and toppled Suharto.
That neocolonial process has been happening for a century, with Wall Street’s creation of Panama being a pertinent early example. Smedley Butler was muscle for Wall Street, although he did not figure it out until after he retired. The Taft Administration's Dollar Diplomacy, following on the heels of Teddy Roosevelt's Big Stick Diplomacy, showed how the mercantile system complemented the purely military one. The current IMF programs are merely more sophisticated methods of slavery, which defraud people out of their land and lives. Once in awhile, something would leak from those institutions that showed what was really happening. In reality, the United States is the world’s stingiest industrialized nation, as even Jimmy Carter has openly admitted.
Other aspects of the neocolonial banking racket are the "free market" and international exchange rates. The "free market" is a situation where the rich and powerful are "free" to exploit the weak. The industrialized world’s big banks, led by the United States, manipulate exchange rates to where Third World currencies are nearly worthless, so the peasants have the game rigged against them even more. They have to work harder to pay more to Western banks, because their currencies are artificially deflated against the industrialized nations’ currencies. That is the "free market" at work. The SAP austerity programs kick in, and the nations are forced to abandon "frills" such as minimum nutritional standards, primary medicine and education for their populations. The World Bank has even been behind privatizing public water supplies, which is a practice that recently led to a cholera outbreak in South Africa), of course in the poor black towns. The water supplies of New Jersey are even being privatized as I write this in the summer of 2002.
It is a new form of slavery, but done through the banking system. The neocolonial New World Order has enslaved billions of people, and the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle were part of an effort to end the practice (I marched in the “Jubilee 2000” procession the night before, which is about forgiving the Third World Debt - I missed the tear gas the next day, to my relief). International treaties such as NAFTA and GATT are designed to break down all international barriers to the power of capital. They are designed to make the world into one big plantation.
That is not right wing paranoia. It is happening as I write this, so well documented that it cannot be denied, but the capitalist press has been busy brainwashing the American public, with the Wall Street Journal banging the drum. Recently, there was the debt "crisis" in Indonesia, Korea, Brazil and several Asian nations. South Korea’s citizens protested the help that the IMF was about to give, and they knew how the deal would go down. In addition, the international currency markets have been turned into almost purely speculative affairs, a kind of global casino, something that even the London Financial Times has remarked on. The poor are the people paying for those policies, as usual.
I have friends from my business school days who think that those policies actually help those factory workers in Indonesia who are making our Nike shoes. Establishment hacks do not dare debate somebody like Herman in a fair and nationally televised debate, because they would be handed their heads.
Perhaps the darkest aspect of all the human suffering being caused by such monetary policies, with the United States leading the way, is that it is estimated that for forty billion dollars per year, every person on the planet would be guaranteed all the food, shelter and education that they need. Forty billion dollars is less than a quarter of the money that is squandered each year in the Pentagon budget, just the part that is waste. It is surreal.
That part of the banking game is undeniable, not part of a bizarre conspiracy theory. That is how global capitalism works. Flaherty, an economist who loves debunking Federal Reserve conspiracy theories and apparently admires Julian Simon, will not touch the IMF's shenanigans with a ten-foot pole. Simon, an economist, did not even mention the IMF in his "good news" manifesto, The State of Humanity. If The State of Humanity was a credible piece of scholarship, and Simon truly cared about the state of humanity, the IMF and Third World debt situation would have been one of the book's central concerns. Instead, Simon worshipped the non-existent "free market." The IMF situation is not "good news," however, except for corporate profits, Western consumers and the plutocratic elite of the subject nations, who have sold “their” people into neocolonial slavery.
Reading Ralph McGehee’s Deadly Deceits helped me figure out the American foreign policy game, similar to Smedley Butler’s confession. McGehee and Butler had to live with their consciences and could not keep silent in their retirement years. I had heard about servants for the Rothschilds and Rockefellers writing memoirs about what really happens on the inside, only to have the books suppressed, including buying out the publishing companies that tried publishing the books. I have not heard of anybody publishing anything from deep inside the beast, but in 2004, a member of “middle management” of the global corporate empire spoke out, and John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is the War is a Racket of our time.
McGehee was an imperial foot soldier, not beginning to figure out the game until he came up with the “wrong answer” in America’s war against communism. Perkins was on the “privatized” side of the empire, in what can be called middle management, and was frankly told about the nature of his job early on. His cronies literally called themselves “economic hit men,” or EHM for short. He was taught the game from the inside. All the World Bank, IMF and USAID “assistance” was not designed to help the nations receiving the loans, but was designed to enslave those nations to the neocolonial order (or “corporatocracy” as Perkins called it), to give American corporate interests access to rape and plunder those nations, particularly to steal their natural resources and exploit their labor. The elites of those subject nations would be bribed to play along, but the primary goal was exploiting the peoples and resources of the subject nations.
Perkins’ meteoric career took him to many neocolonial hot spots, such as Iran, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Panama and Ecuador. Perkins became friends with the populist leaders of Panama and Ecuador, Omar Torrijos and Jaime Roldós, who both refused to kneel to the empire and tried helping their nation’s poor instead. He worried that the CIA and friends would assassinate them, and as soon as Ronald Reagan became president, Torrijos and Roldós died in “accidents” in 1981, where their aircrafts exploded in mid-air, in what were obviously CIA-style assassinations. Those assassinations served notice to the world that the relatively gentle days of Carter’s reign were over. Those national leaders were killed by what Perkins called the “jackals.” When bribes of IMF, World Bank, USAID and illicit funds are not sufficient, then it becomes time to set the jackals loose. If the jackals fail, the U.S. military is sent in, as with Iraq.
As with Perkins, the jackals rarely worked directly for the U.S. government, but were “privatized” covert action operatives. Perkins was taught that privatizing covert action had been a trend ever since Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of president Teddy, overthrew the Iranian government while working for the CIA on behalf of Western oil companies in 1953. Being on the government payroll was problematic, as the Iran-Contra scandal showed. Privatized covert action operatives were much harder to expose and easier to deny, and their activities did not leave the paper trail that government operatives could leave. Privatized covert action was much tidier and could be more effective. Perkins likened the jackals to mafia enforcers, but the jackals serve global corporate empires, not local gangster turf. I have a relative who was a privatized jackal who worked for a household-name “diplomat.” His secret career destroyed his life, and I will not be able to publish his tale for a long time, for jackal-related reasons.
Perkins’ first job was working for the Peace Corps in the Amazon, to see if he was fit for the rigors of EHM life in Third World countries (although he signed up for idealistic motives, as with most Peace Corps volunteers). The Peace Corps is also a tool of the empire, and even some missionary groups are imperial tools, trying persuasion before the jackals are sent in.
As with McGehee, those working for Perkins were not explicitly told about the true nature of their work, and it was the rare person who even wanted to know. Perkins kept his underlings in the dark about what they truly worked for, and often felt jealous of their naïveté.
Perkins’ path and mine crossed over the Seabrook nuclear power plant, as I tried to help make it obsolete while he promoted it, knowing that nuclear power was anything but safe and cheap. Perkins’ self-loathing over his life’s path led him to publish his book, even though he was bribed handsomely to never publish his memoirs as an EHM. He even got to start an alternative energy company that was bought out by an oil company for top dollar. Perkins always avoided the hero/martyr path, so never allowed the game to reach the stage of being made an offer he could not refuse.
Depressingly, as with other whistleblowers, his allies discouraged him from publishing his book. They did not want him to “commit the truth” and rock the boat. Perkins did not heed their advice and the world owes him a debt for his courageous act of conscience. As usual, he is obviously far less than one-in-a-thousand among the ranks of economic hit men, being about the only one to date to name the real game, particularly in book form.
The Darker Side of the Banking Game
Those IMF-type aspects of the banking racket are impossible to fairly deny, particularly in light of Perkins’ confession, and are part of the war against the poor. Conspiracy theories surrounding the Federal Reserve, the Rothschilds, Rockefellers and other elites I had read plenty about, and during my days with Dennis I saw strange events. The meeting that Dennis had with bankers and "European interests" who wanted to pay him a billion dollars or so to stop pursuing free energy neatly aligns with the international conspiracy theories. When Steven Greer interacted with the people who essentially control the world economy, they offered that he get as many credit cards as he wanted, charge as much as he wanted, and they would make all the charges disappear through their control of the banking system. They tried to buy him.
In October 2008, I began updating my banking writings in light of the collapse of the Western financial system, and slowly realized that when I was with Dennis in 1996-1997, we were targeted with the same kind of “sting” operation that almost entrapped Tom Bearden. Those days take some telling, and I will reveal some events for the first time at this footnote, partly because enough years have passed to make the disclosures safer.
Even though we were targeted by an elaborate sting operation, I was repeatedly told, by a wide array of people, to not put the big money we were negotiating for into the USA’s banking system, because it was one of the world’s most corrupt. The USA’s banking system regularly froze and/or stole the funds of its depositors if they were targeted for political-economic reasons. My checks have always cleared the bank, but being given that warning so many times was troubling. The BCCI and related scandals are only the tip of the iceberg.
I predict that as the global financial system collapses, many dark activities will come to light. The banking system is a key aspect of how the Global Controllers exert their influence.
One of my first jobs was cleaning attorney offices. Friends and family members are lawyers. My first significant encounters with America’s legal system were during my days with Dennis. In Seattle and Ventura, with other hints in Boston, I saw lawyers, judges, policemen and investigators committing great crimes. Lies, deception, intimidation and felonious crimes seemed to be the specialty of those who worked in the legal system.
I now realize that my initial impressions were somewhat extreme. I saw people following orders from those who ran the energy racket. On one hand, officials who committed those acts were merely following orders or chased the carrot dangled before them. Most did not realize they were engaging in activities that might exterminate the human race, but most probably did not care, either, as long as they were amply rewarded for their efforts. Over the subsequent years since I gained a different perspective of our legal system, but it is little brighter than what I perceived earlier.
This site deals with the idea of the evolution of souls through the physical plane experience, and world history largely deals with the activities of baby and young souls. In relation to the legal system, legitimate and illegitimate application of the law can be a useful way to perceive the dynamics. The Ten Commandments were righteous, yet they were mainly about forbidden practices. For their day they worked, although few ever lived by them, Moses breaking his first tablets in disgust. The Fifth Commandment forbids murder. The commandment is clear and unequivocal, but many clever people have created an exception to that Commandment whenever the need arose, such as matters of war, to "defend" oneself, executing "criminals" and so on. Those clever sophists were among the earliest lawyers.
In the Bible, Joshua committed genocidal slaughters, depopulating entire regions for his God, the same God that forbade murder. David was a god-chosen warrior-king, with beheading Goliath an early feat. The law was ignored or argued around from nearly the day it was given. Even when Jesus came along and said to love the enemy, Christians have largely ignored that also, always rationalizing their slaughters. Europeans (and their political descendents such as America) are the most murderous people of all time, by far, and they are nearly all Christians.
Laws can be legitimate aspects of creating civilizations. In early civilizations the laws are simple, such as the Ten Commandments. They generally “work” when followed. People can believe in the law and its application. If everybody follows the law, all will be well, or so they believe. To some degree it is true. Laws that the general population does not believe in do not work well. In those more "primitive" civilizations the laws are simple, and their rules often applied relatively fairly, although they may be harsh, such as the murderous code in the book of Leviticus, which directly contradicts the Fifth Commandment. When the law is followed because it is the law and not because it is just, it ventures into legalism. The spirit of the law is ignored while the letter is followed. Further degeneration is when the law is used as a weapon for personal gain, not for justice or helping hold civilization together. The law becomes seen as a tool in winning. Serving justice, the spirit of the law and the ideal are lost, and the only goal is winning.
That is about where the United States' legal system is today, and the West's in general. The American legal system is all about winning, not justice, which is generally the final stage of a legal system's degeneration. The law also becomes extraordinarily complicated, and professional specialists make and interpret laws that no regular citizen can figure out. When that happens, the legal system is no longer under the citizenry’s control. Legalism overthrows justice and serves those who control the legal system.
Ancient Rome just before its collapse was like that. The tax system was extremely unfair, and tax collectors and lawyers were thoroughly corrupt, just as in today’s United States. The legal system was an extraordinarily complicated maze of laws that no citizen could navigate without a lawyer's help, and the lawyers often betrayed their own clients. The only winners were the lawyers. Today, seventy percent of the world's lawyers live in the United States, and the last time I checked, somewhere around ten percent of them are millionaires. That is a symptom of a society in decay and on its way out.
The state of America’s legal system, with its extraordinary complexity and thorough corruption, where an honest lawyer (one who seeks justice, not winning) is nearly impossible to find, is simply a sign of the times. That so many point to a scrap of parchment, the U.S. Constitution, and hold it to be holy (or even worse, the flag), is another sign of the times. George Washington crafted a legalistic strategy to defraud Native Americans out of their land, which was immediately embraced by the government, to demonstrate the Founding Fathers’ reverence for the law.
There is no system worth worshipping; worshipping any system is a form of idolatry. The U.S. Constitution was influenced by Native American tribes, and was designed to limit the power of government, and has failed miserably. A piece of paper cannot prevent corruption. If everybody found a way around the unequivocal Fifth Commandment, finding a way around the Constitution has been easy. Our government increasingly does not even have the pretense of serving the public interest and the public knows it, which is why Americans vote less than any "free" people on the planet, because they know it does not matter. The same rich people own all the candidates, and the laws are written and enforced to look after powerful interests. That is also why the underclass populates America’s prisons.
In a healthy society there are few laws, everybody knows them well, and no lawyers interpret them. There are also no prisons or punitive institutions. There were no prisons in the New World in 1491. That is the polar opposite of the United States. Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God states that in highly evolved societies they only have three laws. They are:
We are all one;
There is enough for everybody;
Nobody has to do anything.
The only earthly societies ever approaching that ideal have been "primitive" societies. Communism (at least the Soviet and Chinese versions of it) tried living by the ideals of one and two, but did not live by rule number three. The Declaration of Independence expressed law one (except for calling Native Americans savages), but the Constitution did not originally approach that ideal, with slaves, natives and women specifically excluded from the "we are all one" ideal. Nearly all American laws are coercive, which also ignores rule three. Capitalism, on the other hand, sort of honors rule three. Nobody has to do anything, but if they want food in their belly and a roof over their head, they need to labor for the capitalists who own everything. Capitalism is diametrically opposed to rule two, elevating greed to a virtue. Capitalism does not even pretend to honor rule one. Nationalism is also diametrically opposed to rule one. It is us versus them in nationalism, each nation believing they are a great people, and that "great people" self-image is then used to justify warring against their neighbors, egotistically elevating themselves in their eyes at the expense of others. Nationalism often exploits the masses for elite benefit. Racism and most religions also ignore rule one. People are OK only if they belong to the right religion or race. Most Christian sects ignore rule three, with the more literalist sects requiring that people accept Jesus as their personal savior in order to be "saved." As Walsch's god observed, America is a primitive society, and one mark of a primitive society is how it regards regression as progress.
My friends and family members who became lawyers were starry-eyed in the beginning, much as I was when I attended business school. Their eyes were opened much faster than mine were. They either got out of law or became bitterly cynical a few years after receiving their law degree, and sought niches of the profession that were less revolting than others. None of them have any starry-eyed idealism about our legal system anymore. As far as providing any benefit to society, our legal system could disappear tomorrow and everybody would probably be better off. "Anarchy" is probably preferable to the juggernaut that is taking the world to the brink of destruction.
Several times I have seen American judges make rulings that made a lawyer's jaw drop open, with the lawyer saying in dismay, "They can't do that!" Dennis has seen it more times than he cares to remember. When the people who run this nation use the legal system to wipe somebody out, the law is not worth the paper it is printed on. The police commit felonies while fabricating charges that the prosecution fraudulently pursues, and the judge rubber stamps it all and makes sure that anything but justice is served as they kangaroo their hapless victim into a long prison stint, and perhaps also arranging for the inmate's murder in prison. All those officials had their palms well greased to participate in the snuff job, with promotions, money under the table, and other benefits. If I had not lived through it, I might not have believed it. It works that way in both the medical and energy rackets. Dennis has called it the "just us" system. More than once have I seen lawyers who challenged our legal system become quickly disbarred on fabricated charges or threatened with it to keep them in line.
Every profession and industry has prostituted itself to one degree or another, but the legal profession probably sells itself to the highest bidder more often than any other. Most of America’s politicians are lawyers, as well as its judges. I am not sure exactly what lawyers make in America, but it is probably somewhere around thirty-to-forty billion dollars a year, for another complete waste of money. It is worse than a total waste, as they are helping prop up our ethically bankrupt system.
Housing and Construction
During my days with Dennis, we dealt with many inventors. Some inventions were truly extraordinary. To my eventual dismay, and a realization I resisted for many years, the biggest obstacles are not really the "bad guys" protecting their turf from innovation, as in the medical racket and cancer treatment. Most inventors we met were greedy. Their greed and dishonesty sabotaged more deals than being squashed by the "bad guys." Also, Dennis' allies hurt him more often than the "bad guys," also having greed as their primary motivation, when it came time to show their true colors. The same happened with most employees, when times got tough.
One group we dealt with was Australian, and they developed a plastic house. It was made of a revolutionary plastic, and was made into modular pieces. A three-man team could build a house from it in two days without even using a hammer, and it would last nearly two thousand years. The houses looked good, and were cheaper than houses of today. As usual, they ran into many obstacles, such as the construction industry trying to wipe them out, their partners making things difficult, etc. If homes were made from that plastic, the world would be housed in a few years at significant cost, but then nobody would need to build a house for two thousand years. In the United States today, about two hundred billion dollars a year is spent on residential housing, with about another hundred billion a year spent on non-residential construction.
It is not any stretch of the imagination to see a worldwide construction project where everybody gets a home that will last two thousand years. That is only one way to do it. There are others. In those scenarios, everybody has a dwelling that is paid for, free and clear, and it will last thousands of years. Amortized over two thousand years, the cost of housing virtually vanishes. Also, it would end one of the darker aspects of our "civilization" - most Americans and most people on earth are only a few paychecks away from being thrown out onto the streets. It is a barbaric and inhumane system, but is a great racket for banks, the construction industry and other predators. That global housing situation is a major reason why people live lives of quiet desperation, knowing they are always near the edge, and have to keep punching that clock or be homeless. The housing situation helps keep humanity enslaved. Houses can be made out of completely recyclable materials, have high quality, can be made to exist in harmony with the environment, to where humanity could live indefinitely on the earth, with dwellings that cost virtually nothing.
When the USDA tried regulating the organic food industry in a way that would have nearly eliminated it, the voice of agribusiness was heard. Fortunately, 250,000 American voices, including mine, were heard, so we won that round. The bedrock of the world economy is food, and has been so for as long as human beings have walked the earth. Agriculture probably began when hunter-gatherers drove all the easily hunted big animals to extinction. Ever since, the “agricultural surplus” has been the basis for all the world’s civilizations. As forests are the primary creator of soils, razing forests to grow crops has always eventually destroyed the soils. Deforestation, irrigation and plow agriculture led to soil salination, mineral depletion, soil loss and desertification. The long, slow decline of Sumeria demonstrated the long-term effects of agriculture; the Fertile Crescent is largely desert today. Modern industrial farming, combined with neocolonialism, has wreaked environmental devastation on a much vaster scale and far more swiftly.
As civilizations rose and fell, with copper, bronze and iron ages increasing humanity’s ability to manipulate the environment, agriculture became more sophisticated. Because North America probably had the world’s healthiest soils in 1491, as the natives lived lightly on the land, the invading Europeans inflicted environmental devastation that had no precedent, but the land had enough biological wealth to survive the onslaught…so far (although events such as the Dust Bowl happened). The rise of capitalism combined with the rise of the United States led to agricultural empires. There were no robber baron farmers during the Gilded Age, not of the stature of Rockefeller and other industrialists, although there were ranching empires.
For years, I was skeptical that the food industry would turn into a monopolistic/oligopolistic industry, as energy, medicine and other large industries had, because there were so many small farms and growing food is the world’s most widespread industry. However, large segments of agriculture have been taken over by corporate conglomerates. Many world food markets are controlled by a handful of companies. For instance, two companies - Cargill and Archer Daniel Midland - control about 80% of the world’s grain market.
Monsanto and other companies are creating genetically engineered seeds that create sterile crops, forcing farmers to buy more seeds the next year. They are also making seeds dependent on artificial fertilizers and pesticides. It is even scarier than that. Monsanto came out with Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), which sucks even more milk and life out of those factory cows. To millions of Americans, such practices are not only scary, but evil. With the introduction of BGH, organic dairy farmers began advertising that there was no BGH in their milk. Because agribusiness companies largely own the USDA, in a classic instance of regulator capture, nobody could count on the USDA to find that BGH was harmful. In an Orwellian summersault, Monsanto sued the organic dairies, trying to make it illegal for them to state their milk did not have BGH in it. It is similar to the agribusiness attempts to define “organic” to allow genetic engineering, irradiation and sewer sludge, then outlaw any higher standard. Fortunately, the American legal system is not yet that far gone, and Monsanto did not get its way in court.
Far more frightening than Monsanto’s BGH antics is what is happening in the realm of genetic engineering. As industries vent their pollutants into the environment, with industrial assets such as Elizabeth Whelan providing helpful disinformation, at least PCBs will one day break down into harmless compounds. With genetically engineered (GE) organisms, however, it may not be possible to stick that genie back into the bottle. There are already cases where GE organisms are inadvertently killing butterflies and other insects. Europe has risen up against the “Frankenfoods” America is producing, and accordingly, American agribusiness, through neocolonial institutions such as the WTO, are inflicting punishment onto Europe for daring oppose the introduction of GE products. An internal memo leaked from an agribusiness company that presented their strategy. The plan was to flood the world with GE organisms, and as the contamination becomes universal, anti-GE advocates will throw up their hands and surrender. A leaked Monsanto memo showed its global strategy for rigging GE regulation throughout the world. While most Americans sleep through the process, there is a fierce battle happening across the world, as nations resist the introduction of GE foods.
There are horrifying aspects of the current GE craze in agribusiness, but the scariest GE aspect is biological warfare experimentation in the U.S. military establishment, generally with zero oversight from any governing bodies. The U.S. military has long used genetic engineering in its biological warfare research. The “Captain Trips” of Stephen King’s The Stand is closer to becoming reality each day. Calling it genetic “engineering” is a misnomer, as scientists barely understand what they are doing, injecting DNA from a fish into a tomato, and seeing what happens. They are playing with forces they do not respect or understand. Toying with life’s building blocks that way, especially when their understanding of life is so degenerate, may unleash a Captain-Trips-like disease that kills off most of humanity, and inadvertently. There is plenty of suppressed and ignored evidence that today’s orthodox understanding of disease is flawed, and that catastrophic epidemics may be more the result of misery and despair than biological mechanisms. With all the misery being inflicted onto humanity today, with the United States leading the way, a major global epidemic, perhaps something like airborne AIDS, could well sweep humanity, and soon.
The “Green Revolution,” which dramatically increased crop yields for a generation, has been hitting the wall of diminishing returns for years, and at great cost; artificial fertilizers, pesticides and other practices are poisoning the environment at unprecedented levels, and water tables are plunging across the world from irrigation over-pumping. Asia, with the world’s largest population, is rapidly running out of arable land, partly due to its rapid industrialization, as it plays catch-up with the West. Already, China and India are quickly becoming dependent on grain imports from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Argentina. Japan became grain dependent long ago. The current global warming trend threatens to create crop failures even more devastating than has been seen in Africa and Asia during the past generation. Exploding human populations, combined with fast-disappearing croplands and forests, combined with global warming and air pollution disasters that have been happening in Asia and Indonesia the past few years, may well conflate into a famine of a magnitude the world has not seen before. If China and India begin starving, it will not happen quietly, and could trigger a global war.
The food industry began rapidly consolidating during the merger and globalization mania of the 1990s, and global food monopolies are on their way to becoming a reality. I doubted it was possible fifteen years ago, but have since revised my thinking. Combine that trend with the disinformation about nutrition that industrial hired guns such as Steve Milloy and Elizabeth Whelan have been disseminating, and the coming storm clouds are ominous. The food racket is nearly here.
The transportation industry is closely related to the energy racket, with car companies working closely with oil companies to wipe out energy conservation in transportation. The transportation racket is about the first one I became aware of, when my mentor invented the world's best engine, and was told to make his funeral plans if he was serious about developing it. Transportation in America is a virtual monopoly, with nearly every aspect of it controlled by oligopolies that operate in collusion with each other and the energy racket. America’s primary mode of transportation is the automobile, and there are essentially three automobile manufacturers in America. The story of the Preston Tucker snuff job, fifty years ago, is a standard case of how the automobile industry protects its turf. The man who told Dennis how his car company was wiped out is one of many stories like him.
The airline industry now has only two vendors for planes: Boeing and Airbus. Virtually all United States air traffic is controlled by a handful of airlines, and they raise and lower prices in concert. I recently worked in the travel industry, and industry veterans openly admitted that major airlines colluded with each other, which was obvious as they regularly saw them raise and lower prices in unison. The automobile and airplane industries are virtual monopolies, in classic, capitalistic fashion. Monopolies are always rackets.
The bona fide conspiracy between General Motors, Rockefeller oil companies and Firestone Tire to dismantle mass transit systems in America, especially in Los Angeles, is well known, performed under the rubric of National City Lines during the 1930s. There were many activities engaged in where oil and automobile interests had an interlock of interests, with the public paying dearly, such as putting lead into gasoline.
I have heard first-hand tales about how General Motors stole innovations from inventors, and have encountered many other instances of theft, such as the mechanism for intermittent windshield wipers, power steering, etc., while suppressing other innovations, such as high efficiency carburetors. Automobile companies steal what they can, wipe out competitive upstarts with kangaroo court and other strategies, foist poisons onto the public and are the world’s most effective practitioners of “planned obsolescence,” where technology is designed to quickly become obsolete, in order to sell the next version of it, keeping the consumer running in a kind of squirrel wheel. The automobile industry epitomized U.S. capitalistic gangsterism.
This transportation racket section will conclude with a personal anecdote. Walk into any auto parts store and see the shelves where windshield wipers are sold, with the packaging boasting that the wipers are made of “natural rubber.” Some wiper blades will be treated with graphite, for a smoother wipe and longer life, which cost more than twice what other blades cost. That entire wiper section is completely unnecessary. Those “natural rubber” blades need to be replaced each year because the blades’ edges wear out. The “natural rubber” blade is about the flimsiest one that can be put on a car. There are many kinds of rubber, and automobile tires are made from Nordel rubber. Nordel is a specially treated rubber, so tires last 60,000 miles and more while running over roads, not smooth windshields. In 1990, I saw a mail order ad for wiper blades made from Nordel rubber, which were guaranteed to last for the car’s life. They sold for less than $20 for a pair, about twice what normal blades cost. I bought two pairs for my cars. Unfortunately, they put their “indestructible” blades in cheap plastic frames, and one pair broke during the first Ohio snowstorm it was in, as the frames had to contend with the strain of snow and ice on the windshield. That was an example of the poor design decisions that plague all inventing. The other pair’s frames, however, did not break in snowstorms. Those blades worked fine for the next eight years, until my car was destroyed by another car crashing into it. If my car had not been destroyed, I am sure those blades would be serving me today, more than eleven years later.
Today, nobody sells Nordel blade windshield wipers, except for extremely high-end wipers for RVs and such, costing more than one hundred dollars per pair. Why? Putting Nordel rubber in windshield wipers on cars in the factory would cost only a few cents more per car, and those blades would last for the car’s life. Instead, there is an entire industry devoted to replacing windshield wipers every year. The windshield wiper blade industry is a scam. That is only one minor component of cars, but that situation typifies the kinds of “planned obsolescence” and other activities that are outright racketeering.
Waste management is a huge racket, and part of a diabolical design. One favorite racketeering strategy is to make a huge amount of money in creating a problem, and then make a huge amount of money in “solving” it. The “solution,” however, is never the best one, and the public is milked for generations to “solve” the problem. The nuclear energy industry is a classic example of that strategy. Free energy has probably been suppressed for nearly a century, going back to Tesla and even earlier. The nuclear industry created immense environmental devastation and human harm in producing and refining the uranium used. Vast sums of money have been made in that business. The war racket also came to that trough, with the insane (or diabolically sane) buildup of nuclear weapon stockpiles. Cleaning the mess up is another huge racket. I spoke at Department of Energy (DOE) hearings regarding the nuclear waste problem. The nuclear waste problem is one of the more dangerous that faces humanity at this time, and the management of it has turned into a racket, with viable solutions ignored, as even admitted to us by the DOE.
With more mundane waste, such as municipal garbage and landfills, it is well known that organized crime virtually runs the industry in America, especially in Chicago, New York and other eastern American cities. During my days with Dennis, I watched ingenious answers to municipal and industrial waste problems be squashed by those who run the waste management racket.
When the CIA is examined, with Wall Street dominating it, and it hiring the Nazis and the Mafia, the realization quickly arrives that there is little difference between a Nazi, a gangster, and a CIA civil servant. They all work for the same team. As Smedley Butler remarked, members of the Italian Mafia are minor leaguers. The Mafia does stuff such as take over labor unions and municipal waste management, and serve as drug middlemen. That is the small stuff. The big rackets are taking over the federal government and managing nuclear waste, sending out armies to enslave entire nations and running the prisons. That is the big time racketeering. The Mafia are small timers, which is why they end up in prison. The big time criminals, such as most of our U.S. Presidents and corporate executives, never go the prison, although the blood on their hands is vastly greater than Al Capone could have ever aspired to. The big gangsterism is done while waving the flag, sitting atop skyscrapers, lounging on palatial estates and pursuing the sacred profit. Most of waste management is a waste, with cheap and effective solutions wiped out, and answers such as not creating the waste in the first place, or completely recycling it, forbidden.
The Capitalism Racket
This essay could present the racketeering aspects of many other industries and professions, but the point has probably been made: they are all self-serving above all else, because people are mostly self-serving. When American executives candidly admit the only purpose their industries have in existing is not serving the public, but making a profit, it is admitting that serving others is a charade, as the real purpose, the overriding purpose, is serving one’s self.
This site’s series of racketeering essays has examined industries and professions whose revenues total far more than half of America’s economy; none of them deserve to be the size they are, and industries such as energy and war do not deserve to exist at all. To state that half of America’s economy is worthless might be conservative. It might be more than two-thirds.
In the medical racket, monopolistic practices are not undertaken by one company, but there is a monopoly of method. The life insurance racket was also that way, as are the oil companies. There can be a number of players, usually a few big ones, but they all sell the same shoddy product for about the same price. The "innovations" are never significant, with far more flash than substance, and the cash registers keep ringing. It is not a law of nature that a few big players come to dominate all those industries. It is how earthly power works, always grabbing for more. Greed is always insatiable, because it is rooted in an irrational fear. That is why all industries tend towards monopoly: it eliminates the competition so huge profits can be made from milking the captive consumer. There are no free markets. Wall Street’s mega-merger mania is part of the phenomenon.
Capitalists hate the idea of competition, and their primary goal is eliminating it (John Rockefeller even called competition a "sin"), as Adam Smith observed. It is the essence of capitalism. Capitalists eliminate the competition any way they can. If their competitive adversary is too big, they either collude with them or buy them out. If their adversary is somebody small like Dennis, they squash them using the system they control, which includes the press and legal system. It does not always have to be a “conspiracy,” as such. The Western press is corporately owned, virtually without exception. Therefore, corporations can do no wrong, and the general worldview the media presents is how great capitalism is, because the capitalists own them. The same people own the government and legal system, just as John Jay said, so the media and legal system can deliver a devastating one-two punch to Dennis and other hero/martyrs, with only a few people really being in on it.
Capitalism, organized religion, nationalism and all the “isms” have degenerated into rackets. Adam Smith had interesting ways to look at capitalism, something that existed before he gave it a name and provided a theoretical framework. Smith would not have approved of today’s corporate capitalism. Smith called the profit motive the “vile maxim of the masters.” Corporate capitalism, as with colonialism, is another way to exploit the masses, while calling it “progress.” Smith and Marx agreed that the workers should control the capital. The corruption of the ideal that Smith saw is similar to the way that Jesus' message was corrupted, Buddha's, Mohammed's, etc.
A Jesus, Einstein or Adam Smith will look at the world in a new way. Their vision is extraordinary, and usually far ahead of its time. It soon becomes co-opted by the greedy and power-hungry, who twist it in sometimes subtle ways to serve their ends. The fraudulent aspect is how the corrupted message becomes a dogma drilled into people's heads, and a twisted version of the original vision is used to control people, keeping them part of an exploitable herd. Every “ism” is like that, without exception.
Smith saw economic dynamics as separated into rents, wages, interest and profits. Standing alone, that can be a useful way of looking at it, but in other ways it makes presumptions that other societies did not necessarily share. Rent is considered the economic exchange for land use. The presumption underlying that idea is that somebody owns the land. As pure theory, the idea has merit in that land has a real cost associated with using it. Yet, Native Americans, for instance, could not comprehend the concept of owning the land, even when it had been imposed on them for centuries as a way to dispossess them. To many Native Americans, owning land was like owning the sky. Owning anything is an egotistical and materialistic concept. All we truly own are our bodies while we are here.
Smith's concept of wages was imputing a cost for performing labor. By itself, the idea has merit, but it became corrupted just as the rent concept has. While Smith was writing, slavery was alive and well, so the idea of owning people was popular. With the Industrial Revolution, which Smith specifically wrote about, the idea of renting people instead of owning them gained in popularity. Again however, the idea as enacted today is that of a fixed wage, as there is a fixed rent. Those are presumptions, not laws of nature. The way Smith separated capital from land and labor was an artificial designation. In capitalism, there is a fundamental antagonism between capital and rent and wages. Capital is nothing more than the fruit of land and labor that somebody skimmed off, calling it their own. The capitalist commands the land and labor, usually violently, setting fixed rates for their use, and the capitalist gets what is left over. In practice, capital represents little more than theft, cleverly done. Capitalism is anything but democratic. Communism was a flawed attempt at economic democracy. Its great flaw was that it was not voluntary.
It was weird to finally read some Marx during my awakening and see that he was saying things I had already figured out on my own, from within the capitalist system. Butler did not denounce America's capitalist imperialism because he was a Marxist. He came to his conclusions from having open eyes and the honesty to admit what he saw. The same goes for Ralph McGehee. McGehee was a true believer in his anti-communist mission. He realized the dishonesty of it from the inside, and realized it because he believed in his indoctrination, so much so that his Boy Scout honesty drove him to pursuing his ideal, to finally discovering the Big Lie he had been fed. He also realized that nobody else wanted to hear it, because it might lead them to question what they were doing, and few are brave enough to do that.
What Native Americans called Mother Earth became the white man’s "capital." One man's living space or labor is stolen or exploited and called capital by the thief. Smith's theorizing is an abstraction, a systematic and artificial way of viewing the world. By itself, there is nothing wrong with that, or Marx's theorizing. They are not reality, but theories. When they become dogmatic catechisms drilled into young heads like mine, then they become methods of control. There is no ideological system worth believing in. Any system is simply a tool. Do we not discard wrenches if they break and are no longer useful? The systems usually benefit those who devised them; which includes nationalism, religion and communism.
Corporations are artificial entities that capitalists have worked hard at giving superhuman rights. It has created extremes that earth has never seen before, where Bill Gates' net worth is greater than the combined net worth of more than 100 million of his fellow countrymen, a fortune he amassed in the span of twenty years. That is not a law of nature, but the outcome of a system founded upon greed. It is not Bill Gates' fault; he is just a lucky player in a lottery that most Americans want to play. Corporate capitalism's great crimes are about not sharing the wealth, and destroying the world’s real wealth at an unprecedented pace. Global corporate capitalism is international piracy wearing pinstriped suits. It used to wear top hats. Now it has gone “casual.”
Activists are proposing common sense solutions to limit corporate power, and it has the capitalists shaking in their wingtips. One proposal is that if a corporation does something truly reprehensible (as most of the Fortune 500 has), the government has the power to revoke its charter, dissolving the corporation, distributing its assets to the injured and society at large, and the world has one less rapacious corporation. That may get the attention of shareholders and the nature of their societal responsibilities. Profits are not sacred, but are another artificial aspect of corporations. The sacredness of profits sanctifies being self-serving. Other activist proposals are: banning political advertising on television, which is largely mud wrestling anymore, which would be welcome to everybody in America, except those who own the politicians; stripping corporations of those superhuman rights; trust busting the media, breaking up its corporate ownership; and others. The burgeoning Enron and related scandals will make those “outlandish” solutions seem far more realistic, although America’s corporate-owned politicians cannot be counted on to lead the effort, or even help it much. They may be virtually forced to ratify the inevitable, but they are far greater obstacles to needed change than leaders of it. They sold their souls a long time ago, and many of them do not even realize it.
This site’s racketeering essays have made the case that most of the United States economy is a tremendous waste of time by most of the people involved. Tomorrow, 95% of the doctors, lawyers, politicians, accountants, soldiers, journalists and corporate executives could be relocated to the moon, and American society would be better off. Industries such as energy, transportation, agribusiness and the military are destroying this planet, for a very short-lived "benefit," if any. Not only are those professions and industries largely worthless, they have held back humanity from true progress as they protected their turf. All that racketeering is the primary reason why the American standard of living has been declining for a generation.
The primary purpose of this site, however, is showing that we can have a completely healed humanity and planet, and soon, if we care. Our fate rests in our hands.
 See Dan Pens’s “Microsoft ‘Outcells’ Competition,” Z Magazine, May 1996, pp. 47-49. See also The Celling of America, edited by Dan Pens and Paul Wright.
 See Nathan McCall’s Makes Me Wanna Holler, p. 175.
 See Norman F. Dacey’s What’s Wrong with Your Life Insurance, p. 14.
 See Dacey’s What’s Wrong with Your Life Insurance, especially page 101 where he summarizes the income and benefit payments of the life insurance industry from 1970 to 1986. Payments were 43% of income for those years.
 See Consumer Reports Life Insurance Handbook, edited by Jersey Gilbert and Ellen Schultz, p. 50.
 The life insurance industry income for 1992 was $426 billion dollars, the latest number I found when I looked years ago. This data is out of date, but nothing significant has happened to change the dynamics that I know of.
 A brief summary of the situation is in Consumer Reports Life Insurance Handbook, edited by Jersey Gilbert and Ellen Schultz, p. 58 and See Norman F. Dacey’s What’s Wrong with Your Life Insurance, pp. 400-401.
 Joseph Stiglitz was the World Bank’s chief economist. Before the World Trade Center attacks, he came forward with information confirming the exact scenario I am painting here. Stiglitz was involved with the neocolonial raping of post-Cold-War Russia, selling off state assets at fire sale prices to corporations. See Gregory Palast’s “Four Steps to IMF Damnation,” published on August 23, 2001, by ZNet.
 See Brad Knickerbocker’s “Where America Stands Among World Empires,” Christian Science Monitor, December 29, 1999. Jimmy Carter said regarding U.S. foreign aid to poor nations, “We are the stingiest nation of all.” The world’s richest nations (the West and Japan) formed the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Official Development Assistance (ODA) is given to poor nations by the rich ones. The United Nations set a target of 0.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of ODA for the OECD nations. U.S. aid has continually shrunk since the Cold War ended, and in 1999, of the 22 nations in OECD, the United States ranked dead last in percent of GDP for its ODA, at 0.1%. Few nations met the 0.7% goal, and the median was about 0.3%. The United States was a third of the median. It is even worse than that, because most of the “aid” that the United States gives is tied to U.S. business deals, where the “aid” is more to gain market penetration for U.S.-based corporations or other corporate benefit. In reality, almost no American “aid” benefits the world’s poor, and in fact it usually makes their plight worse, with military aid propping up some of the most brutal regimes on earth.
 See John Perkins’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, pp. xi, 14.
 See John Perkins’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, pp. 199-200.
 See John Perkins’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, p. 18. See also Stephen Kinzer’s All the Shah’s Men.
 See John Perkins’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, p. 139.
 See John Perkins’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, p. 142.
 See John Perkins’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, p. 138.
 See John Perkins’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, pp, 154, 162.
 See John Perkins’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, pp, 148, 167-172.
 Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer wrote War Against the Poor, which shows how such neocolonial, "low intensity" tactics are inflicted on the world’s poor. His book focused on Central America in the 1980s. At home in America, Michael Hudson's Merchants of Misery shows how similar strategies are directed toward America’s poor.
 See Steven Greer’s Hidden Truth – Forbidden Knowledge, pp. 119-120.
 When Dennis was released from jail in 1989, he asked me to rejoin his efforts. I declined his offer. Helping him escape jail was my parting gift. My journey was already taking a different direction, which led to this website, among other life experiences. My approach to the energy issue today is markedly different than Dennis’s. In 1990, I moved to Ohio, have not seen Ventura County since then, and do not plan to ever return. Dennis kept trying to recruit me over the years, but I was reluctant. In 1996, after several wearying years as a trucking company controller, I rejoined Dennis. Dennis visited me in 1995, and my second journey with Dennis began in early 1996, when his wife asked me to come to New Jersey to help develop their accounting system, because they were becoming prominent again. Dennis did two national tours in 1996, and in that winter/spring, he had a show in Columbus. I attended it to see him, and expected a few dozen people at most. I was surprised to see hundreds of people there. Our first “Greatest Energy Show on Earth” in 1987 had less than forty people attend. In Columbus, Dennis was demonstrating technologies from our Ventura days.
After his Philadelphia show, I rejoined Dennis in New Jersey, the fourth state in which I have worked for him. A few weeks after I rejoined Dennis, we received a letter from our phone company which informed us that early in 1996, during Dennis’s first national tour, the Justice Department subpoenaed our phone records and put a ninety-day gag order on the phone company, preventing them from notifying us of the investigation. When the ninety-day order expired, the Justice Department renewed the gag order for another ninety days. When the second order expired, the phone company was finally allowed to inform us that the Justice Department had subpoenaed our records. It was not the first time that the Justice Department had investigated us, and when I read that letter from the phone company, it brought back memories of the sharks circling. In these neo-Orwellian days, we might never be informed that the government had subpoenaed our records.
During those days with Dennis, I read a letter from Al Gore, where he backed off from further involvement with Brown’s Gas for neutralizing nuclear waste, writing that he believed that Brown’s Gas was too dangerous for the task. At the time, I was related to somebody high in the Clinton administration that I could have approached for influence with the Department of Energy (DOE), but the person was a political hack and I did not even try. Instead, Dennis and I spoke at DOE hearings a few months later, and the hearings’ organizer admitted to my face that nuclear waste management was a racket.
During the years between the Ventura fireworks and those DOE hearings, one of our advisors encountered Sparky Sweet and his free energy device, I began interacting with free energy activists such as Brian O’Leary, and one close associate received a free energy and exotic technology show from a faction of the people who run the world. I also witnessed attempts to steal Dennis’s companies, once again.
Those years of encountering the genuine and the bogus, at global levels at times, were the backdrop for the “sting” that somebody mounted against us. When I joined Dennis in 1996, he was helping a group of “Christian businessmen.” For all the bizarre events I had witnessed so far on my journey, the story of the Christian businessmen began going into the Twilight Zone. I had several conversations with the organization’s trustee. The story told to me by Dennis, the trustee and evidence I saw was that they were a group of radical businessmen based in Canada that formed a trust with more than a trillion dollars in assets. The trust “only” had equity of about $25 billion. They were using their trust for radical activism, and they gave a billion dollars of food and supplies to the Soviet military when the Soviet Empire was crumbling. I watched a news clip from Canada after they made that gift, where the reporter was asking the trust’s CEO, sitting in his office, who the heck they were, giving a billion dollars of food and supplies to the Soviet military. The CEO modestly replied that they were just “Christian businessmen.”
Soon after they made that contribution, the global banking system, the USA’s banks in particular, seized all their cash (more than $20 billion), giving the excuse that moving billions of dollars around like that gave the banking system liquidity issues, so they uniformly froze all the trust’s money, which effectively pauperized them.
Offshore trusts are a well-known device that the rich and powerful use to escape taxation and accountability. The world of offshore trusts is shadowy due to its secretive nature. It is also well known that the world’s big banks have, to one extent or another, been involved with laundering money derived from the global drug trade.
Not long after the Philadelphia show, Dennis was approached by an indigenous group with sovereign nation status, stating that they contacted Dennis after praying for the best way to help heal the planet. They wanted to help fund Dennis’s nuclear waste neutralization efforts and the energy technologies he was developing/promoting. They said they were raising the money by playing the international bank trading game, using their sovereign nation status. Their financial advisor had a penthouse suite in Manhattan. Dennis had several meetings with the group and their advisor. I had conversations with the Christian trust’s trustee and the sovereign nation banker. It all seemed quite strange, and Dennis was cautious.
There is a statement that can be given to a federal government covert agent, asking if they are a government agent. If they are, they are required to acknowledge it. Dennis gave it to the Christian trust’s CEO, who denied that he was, and his sadness at Dennis asking such a question was evident. Dennis asked the sovereign nation what they knew about the Christian trust, and they replied somewhat cryptically, apparently knowing who they were, but telling Dennis to be cautious.
I began reading up on those international banking games, talking to members of Dennis’s network who were trying to put deals together, and I began asking my CPA/CFO pals if they had ever heard of the weird world that I was beginning to snoop into. I had a conversation with the Christian trust’s trustee about it, and he told me that such bank trading deals existed, but almost nobody can really play that game. The minimum denomination for those bank trades was $100 million, and you have to know somebody to play. That sovereign nation was playing the same game. The sovereign nation said that one price of playing that game was giving half of the profits to a humanitarian cause, and Dennis’s efforts comprised the cause they planned to fund.
The Christian trust had a trillion dollars of assets that they could not access because of the trust’s structure and their $20 billion of frozen funds. They tried going the legal route and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court became involved, ordering the USA-based banks to free up the trust’s funds, which the banks essentially ignored.
On one hand, I was speaking at DOE hearings and doing business with the Chinese government (we purchased our Brown’s Gas machines from there), and on the other I was dealing with the Christian trust and sovereign nation.
While we were in that milieu, there was also a public effort to have average Americans play the offshore trust game. While the hyper-elites can play the offshore trust game, I knew that there was no way that average Americans could, not in significant numbers. Several years earlier, Dennis interacted with the Patriot Movement, and quickly discovered that few, if any, leaders of that movement were sincere, but were simply fleecing the flock of Americans that comprise the militias and related right wing movements.
I believed that anybody selling average Americans on the idea that they too could play the international banking and offshore trust game was probably a criminal. Average people cannot play those games. The Christian trust and sovereign nation, however, were not looking to us for money, although we ended up spending thousands of dollars paying the rent and buying food for the pauperized trustees. They said they were trying to fund us.
Yull Brown was reaching the end of his life in 1997 (he died in 1998), and made many irrational demands that wrecked the deals that Dennis was putting together. Several years later, when I was in the New Energy Movement, I had a conversation with a fellow board member who worked closely with Yull in the 1990s, trying to get Yull USA residency status (several people did, including at least one USA Congressman). When I related Yull’s antics, that board member replied that those were typical behaviors for Yull. Brown’s technology is legitimate, but he may not have developed Brown’s Gas independently and he was very hard to work with. At the Philadelphia show, five thousand people gave Yull a standing ovation, and Yull played the tape of that scene endlessly in his last years.
I left Dennis’s employ in the spring of 1997, and moved home to Seattle. The sovereign nation never came up with that funding, and the last time I checked with Dennis, that Christian trust withered away, unsuccessfully trying the legal route to unfreeze its funds. At one time, they posted up $100 million of trust assets as collateral for Dennis to try raising money for his nuclear waste program, but nothing came of it.
Dennis’s attorney in Ventura had epic battles with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), with one of them ending up in the U.S. Supreme Court. My introduction to alternative politics was the Constitutionalists that Dennis’s organizations regularly interacted with. I talked with people who had successfully waged lawsuits to challenge the IRS’s ability to levy and collect taxes, because the Constitution only empowered Congress for that function.
My years with Dennis were life changing, traumatic, wondrous and ultimately radicalizing, but few situations challenged my ideas of how the world worked quite like that radical Christian group’s experiences did. Much was hard to believe, but encountering unbelievable situations were frequent during my years with Dennis.
I have been writing of the coming of economic carnage since 2006, and as the global financial system began collapsing in earnest in 2008, I began writing about recent events and planned to update my banking writings. As I did so, I slowly realized that my last stint with Dennis was partly navigating a hall of mirrors. The bank trades that the sovereign nation was pursing were almost identical to the description at this link. When I asked the trustee of that Christian trust about it, he verified it. Now, I see that all such deals are considered scams. I always knew they were when they tried getting average Americans to invest in them, but that the entire bank trade industry might be a scam got me thinking real hard about those days in 1996-1997. It looks like somebody was mounting the same sting operation that almost nabbed Tom Bearden, probably at about the same time.
Were they all in on it? Probably not. Did that Christian group really have $20 billion frozen by the big banks? Heck if I know, but I harbor serious doubts about it today. When the BPA Hit Man helped destroy Dennis’s Seattle operation, it was one percent provocateur and ninety-nine percent the greedy, ruthless and gullible. When Dennis’s Ventura company was destroyed, the ringleader also appeared to be a provocateur, easily manipulating the avaricious and naïve in Dennis’s organizations. Both men were involved in later scams, with the Ventura ringleader being arrested. The BPA Hit Man spent many years developing his fake alternative energy credentials, and was obviously a professional saboteur. I am less sure whether the Ventura ringleader was a hired professional or just a freelance criminal.
How much was real and how much was illusion during those days with Dennis in 1996-1997 is something I will probably always wonder, but there was obviously a sophisticated operation mounted to wipe us out, which to some level included the sovereign nation and that Christian trust. I have to wonder if the Global Controllers simply hired some of those scamming operations for a “special project,” or built what we encountered from scratch. I have seen paranoia and conspiracism destroy people, and those attempting to undermine my credibility call me a “conspiracy theorist,” but it has been a sobering experience to ponder the effort behind the sting that almost got us. Maybe I have to thank Yull for his irrational behavior that blew the deals apart. What probably saved us is that we were not greedy and money-hungry. Dennis has always worked on a shoestring, and has always been wary of rich “benefactors” who never delivered the goods. This is not the first time that I realized that a covert action bullet whizzed past my head, years after the fact. I suppose I should feel fortunate and that somebody up there is looking out for me and, in some ways, I do.
With my dawning realization of how deeply that sting operation went, I now have less doubt whether Mr. Skeptic is another professional provocateur. The “skeptical” societies are uniformly comprised of rationalist-materialist fundamentalists, with Carl Sagan its most prominent member; his attitude was almost the very definition of scientism. The only religious “skeptic” that I have ever seen is Mr. Skeptic, who is a self-professed Christian. I originally believed his Christianity to be a minor anomaly, but today, I wonder if he was chosen to attack Dennis in 1996, using his Christian credentials to gain credibility with Dennis’s associates, because Dennis has always loudly proclaimed his Christianity. Mr. Skeptic’s work is clearly dishonest, but it has not stopped him from stalking me on the Internet since 1997, continuing to portray himself as the voice of reason. Either Mr. Skeptic is a fanatic the likes of which I have rarely encountered, or he is another provocateur. For many years, I have been about half convinced that he was being compensated for his “skeptical” efforts, and now I am more than half convinced. He lived near the same Justice Department office that subpoenaed our phone records in 1996. The free energy suppression efforts that I have encountered have usually been a combination of private and government efforts, which is typical. It appears that a several-pronged approach may have been used on us in 1996-1997, with a Justice Department investigation, an elaborate sting operation, a “skeptic” dogging us, and there were probably unidentified provocateurs in our midst.
I write about that sting operation to warn anybody else thinking of taking the high road to free energy and a healed planet. Powerful and unscrupulous forces oppose it. Only those with the highest integrity and intention have any business even trying.
 Michael Grant’s The Fall of the Roman Empire mentions some of those dynamics.
 See Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God, book 3, pp. 311, 362.
 Today, there are huge "dead zones" in the Baltic and Black Seas and the Gulf of Mexico, due to agricultural pollution (mostly from nitrogen farming practices, to increase crop yields) and other man-made problems.
 See Lester Brown’s “Facing the Prospect of Food Scarcity,” in State of the World 1997, pp. 23-39, and Gary Gardner’s “Preserving Global Cropland,” pp. 42-59.
 See Korten’s When Corporations Rule the World, pp. 53-101
 See, for instance, David Korten's "A Common Sense Citizen's Agenda" in Danaher, Corporations are Gonna Get Your Mama, pp. 163-170.
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