Gerard “Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil” Menuhin is one of Europe’s most interesting and controversial authors and commentators. The son of famous peace activist and anti-Zionist musician Yahudi Menuhin, Gerard has gone several steps further in calling out the forces he deems responsible for most wars and avoidable human suffering. I fully agree with his suggestion in this piece that riba (usury) is the prime force behind the ever-worsening enslavement of mankind. Listen to him on my radio show discussing his autobiography, his book Lies and Gravy, and his famous and much-censored revisionist classic Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil. –Kevin Barrett
Truth for Dummies
Ms Jones and Mr. Bagman
by Gerard Menuhin
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye
my disciples, indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
(Gospel of St. John, 8;32)
And how did that work out for him?
‘The truth will make you free’. In truth, the truth will get you jailed.
Yet, quite a few well-meaning folks take this saying as their mantra in life. To their cost, as it turns out. They have discovered that the truth is highly selective. Some truths may be free, as in ‘free of charge’. Others will rate prosecution and a fine, or possibly imprisonment.
The ethnic unbelievers, on the other hand, despite this proffered boost to their morality, were confirmed in their ideology that the opposite is true, or better put, they opted for the lie instead, the lie being more profitable than the truth.
Mark Twain, one of perhaps a dozen significant Americans*, said ‘If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything’. In his day he may have been right. Among the generality, this consoling thought endured until quite recently, when it became apparent that principles such as truth, honesty, uprightness, straightforwardness, etc., etc., are outdated. They have lost their meaning. To hear someone voice them now is almost embarrassing.
Even the implication that a good memory is required to sustain a lie is invalidated when the response to the accusation that someone has lied is ‘so what?’
We must accustom ourselves to intimate relationships in which loyalty is unimportant, and to business agreements in which a contract doesn’t mean what it says. Lasting was yesterday. Endurance has given way to expedience. Constancy has ceded to convenience. For those at the receiving end of such capriciousness, life may be unnerving. Yet for those who control communal transformation, their own laws are immutable. It was ever so and so it will ever be: the lie is the principal facilitator and conveyor of their agenda.
Does this agenda apply to all earthlings? That depends on your definition of ‘earthling’. If by ‘earthling’ is meant ‘Earth dweller’, then yes it does. If ‘humankind’, then no it doesn’t. What’s the difference?
Well, those for whom the above-mentioned sentiments once had value are humans; those for whom they never did are mere Earth dwellers. Parasites like bedbugs and lice are also Earth dwellers. What best distinguishes one group from the other is their relative reliance on money and the comparative worth of objects on a monetary scale.
The production of money is relatively inexpensive, even more so now that paper and coinage are not required. To produce untold digital billions it suffices to enter the desired sum on a computer. So why do governments make such a song and dance about money? Why do they always regret the impossibility of providing a functioning national health service and a decent education system – while billions are wasted on unnecessary military outlays?
To answer this question, we must eavesdrop on an exchange of opinions.
Ms Jones: Surely if a state – any state – decides it needs to fund something, all it has to do is to press the keys on a computer at the national bank and bingo! There are the funds.
Mr. Bagman: What do you do when you need money?
Ms Jones: I go to the bank.
Mr. Bagman: What if the bank doesn’t have any money?
Ms Jones: But the bank is the lender of last resort.
Mr. Bagman: No, the central bank is the lender of last resort. It lends to other banks or the government.
Ms Jones: So it doesn’t work like that? Why not?
Mr. Bagman: No state can afford to spend additional money on top of the national debt.
Ms Jones: Ah yes, I was forgetting the national debt. The debt to whom? If the state is the debtor, who is the creditor? And why did the state enter into this odd agreement to borrow money in the first place? Was some venal minister responsible?
Mr. Bagman: Probably, but not in the sense you mean. He may well have been corrupt in his private life, he probably was. But as he only entered the system at a stage when it had been long existent, he can’t be blamed merely for carrying on where his predecessor left off.
Ms Jones: OK, let me get this straight. A perfectly normal government in, say, Western Europe needs money to provide public services, like transport and communication and power and water, and health and education, etc. for its citizens. To pay for these major outgoings and installations, like power plants and dams and railways and all the rest, it has to pay contractors to build and staff to run these operations. That’s obvious. So when it perceived its initial need, why didn’t this perfectly normal government just print the money it needed back then, and if it still needs it now, create more digitally? Why doesn’t each country create as much money as it needs?
Mr. Bagman: You’re confusing simple transactions, like exchanging something for something else, for instance cash for an orange, or for work, with the system. Systems are different. That’s not how this system works.
Ms Jones: So how does it work?
Mr. Bagman: The government has to borrow what it doesn’t have and basic accounting predicates that you can’t borrow money without creating debt. And debt must be repaid with interest.
Ms Jones: Not at usurious rates. Argentina pays 67% interest rate. That’s extortion.
Mr. Bagman: Usury is an ancient business practice. It’s in your bible. See the parable of the talents: “Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.” (Matthew 25; 27)
Ms Jones: So you’re saying all this is like any normal transaction?
Mr. Bagman: The system generates credit and debt, just like any business with a balance sheet. Would you agree that you have to factor in costs in every transaction?
Ms Jones: Yes, of course.
Mr. Bagman: With the orange, you pick an orange off a tree, or maybe all the oranges off all the trees, and sell them. That’s it. Oranges are perishable, you have to sell them within a specific time or they’re worthless. With national budgetary requirements, you’re dealing with financial resources themselves and they don’t grow on trees, also with magnitudes and schedules of a different order. That creates costs.
Ms Jones: Money may not be perishable, but its value deteriorates through inflation.
Mr. Bagman: Inflation is inevitable. Workers and employers expect prices to rise.
Ms Jones: Government profits from inflation because taxes rise too. So, either way, whether through higher taxes or through inflation, the citizen loses. It comes to the same thing. Why should prices rise?
Mr. Bagman: Production costs always increase.
Ms Jones: Why? Why shouldn’t costs remain the same?
Mr. Bagman: Raw materials always cost more.
Ms Jones: Why?
Mr. Bagman: Because of inflation.
Ms Jones: But that’s an artificial bubble-type rise in worth.
Mr. Bagman: No, inflation is a law of nature. People always want to make more money. So that drives up the cost of salaries and production which, in turn drives up the cost of an item to the consumer. So money has to be increased to enable the consumer to consume, thus reducing money’s worth.
Ms Jones: Consumers respond to what the media tell them.
Mr. Bagman: The media interpret the sentiments of the consumer. Vox populi, vox dei: the voice of the people is the voice of God. If that’s greed, then greed drives markets.
Ms Jones: Whose God?
Mr. Bagman: Ah.
Ms Jones: So my greed is to blame for inflation?
Mr. Bagman: Maybe not you personally, but yes generally.
Ms Jones: What if I simply stop buying?
Mr. Bagman: You can’t. If you did, the entire economy would stall.
Ms Jones: So the economy relies on me to consume?
Mr. Bagman: That’s about the strength of it, and on taxes of course, like the Value Added Tax.
Ms Jones: It seems to me that governments just invent new taxes all the time. What’s the point of a value added tax?
Mr. Bagman: Government imposes a tax on value added to a product or service. You pay for the product plus whatever additional value it has gained before it reaches you.
Ms Jones: Why? Why should I pay more for a product or service than the shopkeeper or service-provider wants to charge me? I don’t care what so-called value has been added to my can of beans. I’m just buying the can of beans. The shopkeeper has to decide how much to charge me for it, that’s all. If he asks too much, I’ll go someplace else.
Mr. Bagman: But that doesn’t fairly account for the process that has produced the beans.
Ms Jones: That’s not my problem. I don’t know or care how the beans were grown or came into the can. I figure the bean-grower has fixed a profitable price for himself and so has the canner. So when the retailer buys the beans, he’s already paid the cost of producing them.
Mr. Bagman: Look, VAT compensates the labour and other input that has produced your purchase. The value-added effect is achieved by prohibiting end-consumers from recovering VAT on purchases, but permitting businesses to do so.
Ms Jones: What do you mean by ‘effect’? That may be the fabricated explanation for this baloney tax, but it’s still baloney. If you didn’t have this made-up tax in the first place, business wouldn’t have to go through the rigmarole of recovering part of it.
Mr. Bagman: You may not be able to understand the fiscal necessity for VAT, but it prevails all the same.
Ms Jones: You mean like ‘necessity is the mother of invention’? There has to be another tax, so there is one?
Mr. Bagman: No, VAT is vital to the economy. In France VAT contributes 50% of the state’s income.
Ms Jones: That just means that France is badly run. With VAT, I’m paying a penalty for buying something – it’s extortion all over again. Who came up with this scam?
Mr. Bagman: The concept of VAT originated in 1918. The costs of the First World War caused widespread bankruptcy, so countries had to recoup their finances. VAT, a tax on consumption, was the best way to refill a country’s coffers. France tried it first in 1954, in the Ivory Coast colony. The experiment was successful, so France introduced it in 1958.
Ms Jones: So more money all round, except for the consumer.
Mr. Bagman: That’s right.
Ms Jones: I still don’t get the correlation between a national budget and national debt. Why should an entire country go into debt to pay for what it needs? If you accept that states have to borrow against interest to maintain themselves – which I don’t — why don’t they simply cancel unaffordable programmes instead of borrowing?
Mr. Bagman: Nothing is unaffordable, if the state is willing to assume debt.
Ms. Jones: So the national debt is voluntary?
Mr. Bagman: Certainly.
Ms Jones: But someone must persuade the state to ask for a loan.
Mr. Bagman: Well, you’ve seen those advertisements for credit on your television, of course.
Ms Jones: That’s not the same thing.
Mr. Bagman: Why not? Nothing differentiates an individual from a state borrower. The ultimate creditor remains the same. The sums are different, of course, as is the reliability of the debtor.
Ms Jones: How so?
Mr. Bagman: An individual may disappear or die, making his loan unrecoverable, but a state cannot default and repayment is guaranteed through taxes.
Ms Jones: Sounds just like loan-sharking, only on a bigger scale.
Mr. Bagman: No, it’s a very old system without which the world would collapse.
Ms Jones: Explain to me why the world would collapse if there were no debt.
Mr. Bagman: Simple. There are no responsible politicians, so the system has to do their job for them.
Ms Jones: Why are there no responsible politicians?
Mr. Bagman: Human nature again, greed.
Ms Jones: If instead of ministers and representatives doing their jobs, the system does it for them, why do we pay politicians?
Mr. Bagman: That’s where the system becomes complicated and the creditors earn their interest. The people have to believe in something, in government and elections, for instance. Juggling a state’s internal affairs requires foresight and experience, and loans. No state could survive without loans.
Ms Jones: The state should just pay off the loan.
Mr. Bagman: If a state paid off a loan, it would return to the position it held to start with: it would need another loan because the interest isn’t included in the sum of the loan. The state is thus an eternal debtor. It has to issue ever more money for its requirements, thus inevitably creating inflation and reducing the purchasing power of money.
Ms Jones: You said the state has to issue more money to cover inflation due to consumers’ greed. Now you say it has eternally to issue more money to cover interest payments. Which is it?
Mr. Bagman: Both.
Ms Jones: That alone doesn’t explain the lack of resources for education and health, while simultaneously funding the military.
Mr. Bagman: Defense is important.
Ms Jones: In peace time?
Mr. Bagman: There’s no such time.
Ms Jones: That means armies and weapons will always be favoured over communal commitments.
Mr. Bagman: There’s a return on investment in military outlays; none on health and education.
Ms Jones: Doesn’t the state, whether Conservative or Social-Democratic, recognize the advantage of a healthy and educated population over one dependent on inadequate resources?
Mr. Bagman: The state is composed of irresponsible politicians of whatever colour. So the state’s position is immaterial. There are enough healthy and intelligent people for its needs. Increasing their number might challenge the status quo.
Ms Jones: How so?
Mr. Bagman: Too many potential contrarians might disturb the state’s creditors.
Ms Jones: How can that be?
Mr. Bagman: If you were an investor in a successful car company and that company suddenly started making soap, how would you feel?
Ms Jones: I would shift my investment.
Mr. Bagman: See?
Ms Jones: So the creditors would stop lending money to this state if it elects to change its course?
Mr. Bagman: Until it atones for its mistakes and repays its existing loans and that, as said, can’t happen.
Ms Jones: Who are the creditors?
Mr. Bagman: The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank for International Settlements, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank –
Ms Jones: So, basically the big international banks? They all want to get in the game of lending at interest?
Mr. Bagman: If you like to think of the system as a game, think of central banks as of a doll’s house in which each country occupies a separate room, but the child whose toy this is plays the same game in each room. Central banks are only national in the sense of their geographical location. These banks provide an essential service. Their mandate is to keep inflation under control, stabilize the exchange rate of the national currencyand create an environment that is conducive to investment and high growth.
Ms Jones: Instead of juggling with currency exchange rates, why don’t countries simply exchange goods of the same worth? Wouldn’t that solve the other problems too?
Mr. Bagman: Someone tried that once, it didn’t end well.
Ms Jones: Why not?
Mr. Bagman: It was a dangerous delusion. For one thing, it didn’t take account of compound interest which is fundamental to the system.
Ms Jones: Do all countries go along with this system?
Mr. Bagman: All except Iran and North Korea. Syria is a nuisance and needs some persuasion and Yemen has been an exception, in that civil war has resulted in two central banks. Support for the legitimate government may stabilize the country and bring it back into the fold, although a proxy war pitting Iran against Saudi Arabia continues to trouble the system.
Ms Jones: As far as I can see, the system does the opposite of what you claim. It destabilizes countries by interfering in their domestic development and reduces the value of their currencies by imposing debt.
Mr. Bagman: Haven’t you been listening to me?
Ms Jones: Of course I have, but your concept of debt bothers me. Debt is an owed thing, a deferred payment, but these national debts are too large ever to be repaid. For instance the U.S. has about 26 trillion dollars debt. The World Bank estimates 2018 U.S. GDP at $20.5 trillion, so how could the U.S. ever repay its debt?
Mr. Bagman: It can’t, obviously. But the debt was never intended to be repaid. Think of debt as a good thing, as an investment by creditors in the community.
Ms Jones: I can’t do that. Besides, you’re misusing the meaning of the word ‘debt’. That’s like so many other words which have lost their meaning — like ‘tolerance’ which now means intolerance of any other opinion, or ‘integration’ which means disintegration of society, or ‘credit’ which used to mean merit and now means a loan. Words don’t express what they used to.
Mr. Bagman: I wouldn’t mention those opinions, if I were you.
Ms Jones: You’re not me.
Mr. Bagman: I’m only telling you the truth.
Ms Jones: Your truth is a lie. If a country is perpetually obliged to pay interest on its debt, it causes a perpetual drain on its economy, so how is that a good thing?
Mr. Bagman: As I said, it’s an inevitability.
Ms Jones: How long can this inevitability continue?
Mr. Bagman: The system has a limit, of course.
Ms Jones: You mean that this tower of inflated money will topple one day?
Mr. Bagman: I mean that the system isn’t primarily about money. It’s about generating reliable management, where citizens don’t have to put their trust in corrupt politicians.
Ms Jones: Once the system has metastasized all over the planet, who does the citizen trust, or is trust now just the name for a bank?
Mr. Bagman: The citizen must trust the system.
Ms Jones: And the debt?
Mr. Bagman: The new management forgives the debt when it takes over.
Ms Jones. When will that be?
Mr. Bagman: Very soon. As soon as the system is global.
Ms Jones: How will we know when that happens?
Mr. Bagman: A contagious revelation should do it.
Ms Jones: Like in the bible again. Some sort of apocalypse. The end of the world.
Mr. Bagman: Like the last book of the bible. The end of the world as we know it.
* Some of the others:
(You’re not significant unless you’ve perceived how the world works.)
Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.
He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.
Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.