A New Aristocracy
REVOLUTION IS AS old as history itself. People have been rebelling
against Gods, kings, and parents for millennia, and so we hardly look
at it as anything out of the ordinary.
Luther’s revolt was not a true revolution in the sense of blood
being spilled. Luther and the Pope led no armies against one
another. The Reformation did, however, lay the groundwork and
provide the inspiration for numerous wars and violent political
revolutions that were to sweep the globe for centuries to follow.
One of the earliest political struggles to grow out of the
Reformation was the Eighty Years War, which got fully underway by
1569. The Eighty Years War pitted Spain against that region of
Europe we know today as the Netherlands, which was then under
Spanish rule. A new Protestant sect known as “Calvinism” (the
origins of which will be discussed in Chapter 22) had emerged by that
time. Radical Calvinists from France had migrated to the Netherlands
and created an activist Protestant community in Holland. This
naturally caused friction between the devout
Catholic rulers of Spain and the emerging Protestant minority of
Holland. The Dutch minority not only sought religious freedom, but
they soon craved political independence as well. The result was
nearly a century of warfare.
Many of the early Dutch struggles against Spain were led by William I
the Silent—a German ruler who reigned over the German principality of
Nassau (which bordered on Hesse) and over the French region of
Orange; hence, William’s dynasty was known as the House of
Nassau-Orange, or more simply, the “House of Orange.” William led the
fight in Holland partly because he had inherited large tracts of
The eventual success of the Dutch rebellions brought about the birth
of a fully independent Netherlands. With independence came the
establishment of a political and economic system that was to provide
a model for revolutions in other countries. The Netherlands adopted
a parliamentary form of government accompanied by a reduction of
the monarch’s power. Although the House of Orange became the Dutch
royal family, and remains so to this very day, the monarch’s role in
the new government was reduced to that of “Stadtholder,” or chief
The Stadtholder could not hold office unless approved
by the national assembly (the States-General), although this is often
a mere formality. One intended effect of the parliamentary system was
to prevent any single individual from achieving too much power.
We might puzzle over why the German royal family of Nassau-Orange
helped establish a political system in which their own power was
reduced. It can be argued that they did so to encourage popular
support for the revolt against Spain; after all, the House of Orange
did gain a permanent position in the government. This does not fully
solve the riddle because, as we shall see, other German royal
families led coups and revolutions in which nearly identical
political systems were erected, and few of those dynasties were
acting entirely from noble impulses.
A clue to resolving the puzzle
is found in the fact that those German dynasties were deeply
in Brotherhood organizations. As we shall see in upcoming chapters,
the evidence indicates that the families
were promoting a Brotherhood agenda from which the royals handsomely
profited in other ways.
In light of the role of the Brotherhood network in promoting
revolution and reducing monarchies, it might appear at first glance
that the Brotherhood was back to its true uncorrupted purpose of
opposing Custodial institutions. After all, the institution of
monarchy is traceable back to the
Custodial “Gods” of ancient
Sumeria. According to Mesopotamian tablets, the Custodial society
was ruled in a unique fashion. At the top was a Council or system of
councils. Beneath the top council(s) were planetary subdivisions,
such as Earth.
Each subdivision was ruled by individual Custodians on
a hereditary basis but subject to the laws of the Council(s).
According to ancient Sumerians, local hereditary Custodial rulers
were Earth’s first kings. Those rulers naturally implanted their
monarchial system on human society. We see intriguing evidence of
this in those ancient Mesopotamian drawings that depict Custodial
“Gods” bearing two objects which are now universal symbols of
monarchy: the sceptre and the tiara.
The Sumerians state that the first human kings on Earth were the
offspring of Custodial rulers who mated with human women. Those matings entitled the half-human offspring to become early monarchs on
Earth. Thus was born the idea of “royal blood ” and the perceived
importance of maintaining proper royal “breeding” to ensure
continued purity of the human royal blood line. Interestingly, some
ancient Custodial “Gods” were depicted as either blue-skinned
or blue-blooded: this gave us the idea (and some say reality) of
royal “blue bloods.” Aristocratic breeding practices have persisted
through history and remain important to some royalty even today.
Human “blue bloods” appear to be the prize Hereford cows of Earth’s
livestock race, Homo sapiens.
In light of the above, it would have been in keeping with the aims of
the original uncorrupted Brotherhood to eliminate monarchy and to
replace it with a parliamentary form of government in which human
beings could choose their leaders. Had the Brotherhood reformed
itself by the time of William the Silent?
As we have seen before, the Custodial influence caused valid aims
and teachings of the Brotherhood to acquire fatal twists. Precisely
such a twist distorted the otherwise altruistic social and political
goals of the Brotherhood revolutionaries. The newly-weakened
monarchies and parliamentary governments allowed for greater power to
be assumed by a new institution being installed by the
revolutionaries: a new banking and monetary system.
This new monetary system was a major element of the revolutions of the 16th,
17th, and 18th centuries, yet this fact is only minimally discussed
in the majority of history books. Those who ran, and still run, the
new monetary system have been aptly labeled by one author, Howard
Katz, “the paper aristocracy.”
The revolutions which began to sweep
the world after the Reformation heralded the diminishment of
powerful political aristocracies in favor of the less visible, but
in many ways equally potent, “monetary aristocracies.” This happened
because, during the Reformation, banking and money lending, which
were once viewed as lowly occupations, were being forged into a
renewed power due to a clever new science of money.*
* For a simple and amusing introduction to the history of money and
economics, I recommend
The Cartoon Guide to Economics by
This new money
was a type of paper currency that could have its value deliberately
and systematically diminished through a process known as
“inflation.” It is the type of money still in use today. This new
the institutions which arose from it, have had an enormous
impact on our modern civilization.
We cannot fully appreciate the
effects of Protestantism and the revolutions which arose out of it
without comprehending just how the new money system works.
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FEW TOPICS OCCUPY as many minds or stimulate as many emotions as
money. This is largely because money is an overwhelming problem to a
majority of people. One thing which causes modern money to be a
problem is inflation, whether inflation is climbing at 3% annually
or 300%. Inflation, of course, is the situation in which the costs
of goods and services steadily rise due to the ever-decreasing
value of money. This happens when the money supply becomes larger in
proportion to the supply of valuable goods and services.
Money itself is not valuable; only the goods and services that can
be bought with it are. The wealth of any individual or nation,
therefore, is ultimately determined by what it produces in terms of
valuable products and services, not by how much money it prints,
distributes or holds. A nation could actually survive without any
currency at all as long as it was otherwise productive.
The purpose of money is to facilitate the exchange of goods and
services. Money is therefore an extension of
the barter system. Barter is the act of trading something one
possesses or does for something of someone else’s. Production and
barter are the bases of all economy.
Coins and paper money were originally created to assist in barter.
They allowed people to barter without having to carry around actual
goods or immediately deliver a service. This permitted individuals
to trade more easily and to save the profits of their labors for the
Paper money initially began as “promissory notes.” A promissory note
is a written promise to pay a debt. A person would write a note on a
piece of paper promising the bearer of the note a certain quantity
of goods or services that the note writer could provide on demand.
illustrate, let us look at the following fictitious example:
Let us pretend that a chicken farmer was in the village market and
wanted to trade for a basket of apples. He did not have his chickens
with him, so he might write a note to the apple seller entitling the
bearer of the note to come up to the farm at any time to pick out two
healthy chickens. The chicken farmer would be able to walk away with
his basket of apples and it would be up to the apple grower to visit
the farm one day to redeem the note by getting his two chickens. As
long as people have faith in the chicken farmer’s ability to honor
his notes, he will be able to use them for barter.
Let us now pretend that as the day draws to a close, the apple
grower decides to have a look around the market. He comes across the
cloth merchant. The apple grower’s wife has been henpecking him for
days to buy some of the new silk that just arrived on a caravan from
the Far East. The apple grower’s home life has been made miserable by
her unceasing demands and her denial of wifely comforts, so he
negotiates with the cloth merchant for some silk.
The cloth merchant,
however, does not need any more apples, so the apple grower,
remembering that he has a note for two chickens, asks the merchant if
the merchant needs poultry. The merchant says that he does, and the
apple grower gives him the note for two chickens in exchange for
silk. It is now up to the cloth merchant to trudge on up to the
chicken farm to redeem the note. The chickens
themselves have never left the coop, yet they have changed ownership
twice in one day. This type of exchange was all that paper money was
initially created for; but do you seethe temptation that it can open
If the chicken farmer knows that some time will pass before he must
redeem his notes with actual chickens, or that some if his notes
will circulate forever and never come in for redemption, he may be
tempted to issue more notes than he has in actual chickens, thinking
that he will be able to cover all the notes by the time they come
back to him.
Temptation now gets the best of the chicken farmer.
The chicken farmer has a big family get-together coming up and he
wants to impress his in-laws for once by putting on an opulent feast.
Down to the market he goes where he writes notes for chickens not yet
hatched and stocks up with an abundance of goods from other
merchants. Several things can now happen. The chicken farmer will
get away with it if he is always able to meet the demand for chickens
when his notes come in for redemption. Another thing that may, and
often will, occur is that he has so saturated the marketplace with
his chicken notes that most people just do not want any more of
them, so he must offer even more hens for each trade to make people
feel that it is worth their while.
He is now writing notes for two or
three chickens in exchange for items for which he previously only
had to issue single-chicken notes. As these chicken notes circulate,
they become less and less valuable because there are so many of them.
A vicious spiral ensues: the more notes the chicken farmer issues,
the less valuable they become, and the more he has to issue in order
to get what he wants. This is known as inflation.
Now comes the worst part.
With more and more notes outstanding, an
increasing number of notes
will start coming in for redemption. Soon the farmer will see that
his true wealth, which is his supply of chickens, is becoming
rapidly depleted even though only a small portion of his outstanding
notes have come back. To preserve his chickens, he must decrease the
value of his notes by declaring that the outstanding notes are now
only good for half of what they say. This is called devaluation.
Since the farmer may find it difficult to admit that he had issued
many more notes than he had chickens, he may try to save his
reputation by lying, such as by saying that a fierce chicken plague
had wiped out half of his flock. That will probably not prevent him
from becoming very unpopular. Public faith in his notes will be
destroyed. He will either have to revert back to straight barter, or
else he will need to acquire someone else’s notes in order to
continue trading in the market.
As we can see, paper notes, or money, are rooted in actual
commodities and are meant to be an expression that the creator of
the notes has something valuable to trade.
In contrast to notes are coins, which functioned somewhat
differently. Metals have always been considered valuable, and so
pieces of metal were convenient trading tools. Metal pieces were
imprinted with various designs, thereby becoming coins, and their
metallic purity was guaranteed by the imprinter. Coin values were
initially determined by the quantity and purity of the metal
contained within the coins. Gold was a rare and popular metal, so
coins made from gold were more expensive and had a higher barter
value than, for instance, copper coins.
Metal coins became a popular tool of barter because
they were durable
and quantities could be controlled. They did create some problems,
however. Realistically, people were only trading pieces of metal for
other goods. This created a disproportionate emphasis on metals. The
acquisition of coins and coin metals became an obsession to a great
many people, and such obsessions tend to drain away energy better
spent producing other valuable goods and services. The system also
gave a disproportionate amount of power to those who possessed large
quantities of coined metals, even though other commodities, such as
food, are ultimately more valuable. The person with the coin metals
could immediately acquire any good or service, but a farmer first
had to go through the intermediate step of exchanging his product
for a coin or coin metal before he could have the same
Coin metals merged with paper notes to create the foundation of our
modern monetary system in the 1600’s. Those
who laid this foundation were reportedly the goldsmiths. Goldsmiths
usually owned the strongest safes and lockboxes in town. For this
reason, many people deposited their coin metals with the smiths for
safekeeping. The smiths issued receipts to the depositors that
promised to pay to the receipt holders on demand those quantities of
gold or silver shown on the receipts. Every such receipt was
actually a note which could be circulated as money until a holder of
the note went back to the goldsmith to redeem it for the specified
amount of metal.
The goldsmiths made an important discovery. Under normal
circumstances, only about 10% to 20% of their receipts ever came
back for redemption at any given time. The rest circulated in the
community as money, and for good reason. Paper was easier to carry
than bulky coin and people felt safer holding receipts in lieu of
actual gold and silver. The smiths realized that they could lend out
the unredeemed metals and charge interest, and thereby earn money as
lenders. In making such a loan, however, the smith would try to
convince the borrower to accept the loan in the form of a receipt
instead of actual metal. The borrower could then circulate that note
As we can see, the goldsmith has now created “money” (his
receipts) for double the actual quantity of metal he has in his
safe: first to the original depositor, and then to a borrower. The
goldsmith did not even own the metal in his safe, yet by simply
writing upon a piece of paper, someone now owes him money up to the
full value of the gold in his safe. The smith could continue writing
his notes as long as the notes coming in for redemption did not
exceed his actual deposits of precious metals. Typically, a smith
would issue notes four to five times in excess of his actual supply
As profitable as this operation may have been, there were some
pitfalls. If too many of the goldsmith’s notes came back for
redemption too rapidly, or the smith’s borrowers were slow to
repay, the smith would be wiped out. The credibility of his notes
would be destroyed. If the smith ran his operation cautiously,
however, he could become quite wealthy without ever producing
anything of value.
The injustice of this system is obvious. If for every sack of gold
the smith had on deposit people now owed him the equivalent of four
sacks, someone had to lose. As public debt to the goldsmith
increased, more and more true wealth and resources were owed to him.
Since the goldsmith was not producing any true wealth or resources,
but was demanding an ever-increasing share of them because of
his paper notes, he easily became a parasite upon the economy. The
inevitable result was the enrichment of the careful
goldsmith-turned-banker at the cost of the impoverishment of other
people in the community.
That impoverishment was manifested either
in the people’s need to give up things of value or in their need to
toil longer to create the wealth needed to repay the banker. If the
goldsmith was not careful and his monetary bubble burst, the
people around him suffered anyway due to the disruption caused by the
collapse of his bank and the loss of the value of his notes still in
Such was the birth of modern banking. Many people feel that it is an
inherently dishonest system. It is. It is also socially and
economically destabilizing, yet all of the world’s major monetary
and banking systems today operate on a close variation of the system
I just described.
By the 17th century, the Medici banking house of Italy had come up
with the idea of using gold as the commodity upon which to base all
paper currency. Gold was touted as the perfect basis for paper notes
because of the scarcity and desirability of gold. This was the
beginning of the “gold standard” in which all other goods and
services are valued in relation to gold (and sometimes silver).
The gold standard was certainly a terrific idea for those people who
owned plenty of gold and silver, but it created an artificial
reliance on a commodity that is not nearly as useful as many other
products. To base an entire monetary system on a single commodity is
better than basing it upon no commodities at all, but even under a
gold standard paper notes will far exceed the metals used to back
the notes. The best solution is to root a money supply firmly in a
nation’s entire valuable output so that the money acts as an
accurate reflection of that output.
Once the gold standard was created, paper notes were thought to be
“as good as gold” because people could redeem the notes for actual
gold. This created a false sense of security. As more and more gold
notes entered the market, they gradually became worth less and less,
resulting in a steady inflation. The gold owners/bankers had to keep
issuing a constant stream of notes because that is how they earned
As long as the bankers planned carefully and the
people retained faith in the notes, the note writers could stay ahead
of the inevitable inflation they created and make an enormous profit
from it. If, on the other hand, they issued an overabundance and too
many of their notes came back for redemption, they could, as a last
resort, devalue the notes to save their gold. In this
fashion, inflatable paper money, even under a gold standard, became a
source of wealth and power to those entitled to create the money. It
also generated indebtedness on an enormous scale because most of the
“created-out-of-nothing” gold notes were released into the community
as loans repayable to the bankers. If people did not borrow from the
bankers, little new money would enter the market and the economy
would slow down.
This method of creating money clearly destroyed the true purpose of
money: to represent the existence of actual tradable commodities.
Inflatable paper money allows a handful of people to absorb and
manipulate a great deal of true wealth, which are the valuable goods
and services people produce, simply through the act of printing
paper and then slowly destroying the value of that paper
with inflation. It causes money to become its own commodity which can
be manipulated on its own terms, usually to the detriment of the
production-and-barter system. Money was meant to assist that system,
not to dominate and control it.
The inflatable paper money system described above was the new
“science” of money being installed by Brotherhood revolutionaries.
An early version of the system was established in Holland in 1609.
That was the year in which Dutch and Spanish forces signed a truce
suspending the hostilities of the Eighty Years War. The truce marked
the birth of the independent Dutch Republic and the founding of the
Bank of Amsterdam in the same year.
The privately-owned Bank of Amsterdam operated on the inflatable
paper money system described above. It was run by a group of
financiers who pooled some of their precious metals to form the asset
base of the Bank. By prior agreement with the new Dutch government,
the Bank helped Dutch forces resume the wars against Spain by issuing
notes four times in excess of the Bank’s asset base. The Dutch
magistrates were then able to draw on three quarters of the
“created-out-of-nothing” money to finance the conflict.
the primary reason why the inflatable paper money system was created:
it enables nations to fight and prolong their wars. It also makes
the human struggle for physical existence in a modern economy more
difficult due to the massive debt and parasitic absorption of wealth
that the system causes. Furthermore, steady inflation reduces
the value of people’s money so that their accumulated weal this
gradually eroded. The Custodial aims expressed in the Garden of Eden
and Tower of Babel stories were greatly furthered by the new paper
The initial success of the Bank of Amsterdam encouraged similar
banking arrangements in other nations. The most notable offspring was
the Bank of England, founded in1694. The Bank of England established
the pattern for our modern-day central banks by refining the
inflatable paper money system of Holland. The Bank of England system
was subsequently spread from nation to nation, often on the backs of
revolutions led by prominent Brotherhood network members.
worldwide reformation announced in the
Fama Fraternitas was well
underway by the end of the 17th century, and the “new money” was a
big part of it, as we shall see more of later.
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ONE OF THE most important leaders of the Reformation was John
Calvin. Calvin was only ten years old when Luther broke from the
Catholic Church, but as an adult, Calvin became one of
Protestantism’s most zealous advocates.
Calvin published his first religious tract in 1536 in Basel,
Switzerland—a city by the Swiss-German border. Calvin spent his
adult life writing and teaching his own unique interpretations of
Protestant doctrine. The result was the creation of a Protestant
denomination named after him, “Calvinism,” which was headquartered
Calvin continued in the mystical vein of Martin Luther. As we
recall, Luther said that spiritual salvation was not something that a
human being could achieve through his or her own labors. Instead,
salvation required an act of belief. The same idea was promulgated by
Calvin, but with a harsher twist. According’ to Calvin’s doctrine,
not even an act of faith or belief would ensure a person’s spiritual
survival. Calvin proclaimed instead that a person’s
spiritual salvation, or lack of it, was already predetermined before
birth by God.
Not only had God decided in advance who would achieve
spiritual salvation and who would not, but there was absolutely
nothing a person could do about God’s decision. This unhappy
doctrine is known as “predestination.” Calvin’s predestination
teachings offered people little comfort because they stressed that
most human beings were spiritually condemned. Those humans favored
God before birth were known as the “Elect.” The Elect were few in
number and could do nothing to share their good fortune with others.
The Elect had only one real duty on Earth, proclaimed Calvin, and
that was to suppress the sin of others as a service to “God.”
Calvin, of course, was one of the Elect.
One might ask: why would “God ” condemn nearly every soul before
birth and then continue to punish them after birth? It seems rather
cruel. According to Calvin, the human race was still being punished
for the “original sin” of Adam and Eve. As we recall, the “original
sin” was early man’s attempt to gain knowledge of ethics and
Calvin did not attempt to justify predestination, despite its
unfairness. He preached instead that predestination was a mystery to
which all people should be humbled. Many things of “God” were never
meant to be understood by human beings, he said.
Calvinism was more than a Sunday religion. It was a way of life. It
demanded of its adherents a pragmatic and austere lifestyle in which
a person’s highest duty was to glorify God in his or her daily
actions. People were taught that their positions in life, no matter
what those positions happened to be, were their “callings” by God. A
life should be lived as though it were a Supreme Being’s will that a
person was where he or she was. Calvinism was clearly a philosophy
feudalism for the modern age.
On religious grounds, Calvin forbade drunkenness, gambling,
dancing, and singing flippant tunes. Those were among the sins that
the Elect had been put on Earth to stamp out. To no one’s surprise,
Calvinists quickly developed a reputation for being dour and
colorless. They also grew violent. Calvin was not a man of tolerance
he adopted some of the vicious practices of the East Roman emperors.
For example, Calvin encouraged the death penalty for heresy against
his new doctrines and he demanded that ”witches” be burned to death
at the stake.
Calvinism traveled from its stronghold in Switzerland to other
countries. In the Netherlands, Calvinists had played a very large
role in agitating and bringing about the Eighty Years War, which
gave us the Bank of Amsterdam. In Great Britain, Calvinism was the
basis of the Puritan religion.
Like their Calvinist brethren in Holland, some English Puritans
decided to assert their gloomy beliefs and material self-interests
through violent revolution. In the year 1642, a group of wealthy and
prominent British Puritans led a full-scale civil war against the
English king, Charles I. In Puritan eyes, Charles had committed
crimes against God by marrying a Catholic and by being tolerant of
Catholicism. After winning the civil war and beheading Charles, the
victorious Puritan armies placed their own dictator in charge of
Britain: Oliver Cromwell.
Under Cromwell, the Puritans were able to assert their religious
beliefs into the arena of foreign policy. English Puritans believed
strongly in the concept of Armageddon, i.e. the Final Battle. They
believed that the great Final Battle had begun and would climax in
the latter 17th century, and that the Puritans’ civil war against
Charles I was a part of that Battle.
The Pope was labeled the
anti-Christ and Catholicism was considered Satan’s tool. Cromwell
tried to shape English foreign policy around these beliefs by working
to solidify international Protestant unity and by waging war against
Catholics in various parts of Europe. Cromwell believed that the
English Puritans were God’s “second chosen” people* and that his
actions were all part of Biblical prophecy.
* The Hebrews were considered God’s “first chosen,” but they had
fallen out of favor.
Calvinist cosmology did much to shape Puritan ideas about war.
Engaging in war was glorified. The Puritans believed that tension and
struggle were permanent elements
of the cosmic scheme because of the eternal struggle between God and
Satan. Professor Michael Walzer, in his intriguing book,
of the Saints: A Study in the Origins of Radical Politics, explains
their belief this way:
As there is permanent opposition and conflict in the cosmos, so
there is permanent warfare on earth . .. This tension was itself an
aspect of salvation: a man at ease was a man lost.1
It is vital to understand this Puritan idea because it exalts war as
a necessary step to spiritual salvation. It was also one of the
seeds which gave us the Marxist philosophy of “dialectical
materialism.”2 This Puritan belief is one of the most pernicious
ideas ever taught by the Custodial religions.
It caused Puritans to
view peace as an affront to God because peace meant that the struggle
against “Satan” had ceased!
“The world’s peace is the keenest war
against God,” wrote Thomas Taylor in 1630.*
* Dialectical materialism is the philosophy which states that
conflicts between social classes are inevitable and that such
conflicts are the first stage of a process that will ultimately
bring about a classless Utopia on Earth.
The highest calling of a
Puritan man was to march off to war for the glory of God. When there
were (heaven forbid) no wars in progress, men were encouraged to
attend military drills for recreation:
And in religious respects, since every man will have recreations,
that be best which is freest from sin, that best which strengtheneth
a man . .. then abandon your carding, dicing, chambering, wantonness,
dalliance, scurrilous discoursing and vain raveling out of time, to
frequent these exercises [military drills] .. .3
The Puritans’ ennoblement of war, coupled with their austere
pragmatism, helped bring about major changes in the manner of
fighting wars. Generations earlier, the
Renaissance had had a very interesting effect on warfare in Europe.
War had become a “gentleman’s” activity—ornate and full of bluster.
European rulers expended considerable sums of money to create
aesthetic and colorful armies. Bright uniforms, flapping banners,
and fancy armor were the order of the day. Significantly, pageantry
replaced combat on the battlefield.
More often than not, the dazzling Renaissance armies engaged in endless maneuverings against one
another with little actual contact. After a great deal of pomp and
show, a military stalemate would often occur followed by an elegant
cavalry maneuver known as the caracole. Each side could then declare
itself the winner with few or no casualties, and march colorfully
home to the adulation of its people. Young male soldiers survived to
quicken their lovers’ pulses with noble tales of gallantry and honor
in the field.
In today’s jaded, ultrapragmatic world, the above activities might
seem rather silly, like something from The Wizard of Oz. They were,
however, an exceptionally important phenomenon because the
Renaissance style of warfare revealed the true nature of the human
spirit. The majority of people will gravitate away from war when
given the chance. They will turn arenas of conflict into theatres of
pageantry. They will choose life, color, and artistry over death,
pallor, and decay. The Renaissance was a short period of history
revealing that when repression is eased, when intolerance and
war-inducing philosophies diminish in importance, and when people are
able to think and act more freely, human beings as a whole will
naturally and automatically move away from war.
Puritan austerity and glorification of war helped make European wars
bloodier. Puritan armies operated on the idea that wars were meant to
be fought effectively, not colorfully. With that in mind, Puritans
eliminated military glitter and developed efficient fighting units
through rigorous drilling. This pragmatic way of fighting quickly
spread when other nations discovered that a beautifully embroidered
banner could not win against an effectively pointed cannon. While
most military organizations today still engage in some pageantry, it
is noticeably absent in ,
the actual conduct of war.
We observe instead austere fighting
uniforms, curt efficiency, and military strategists who coldly
calculate nuclear mega death with percentage points and probability
factors. They are all reflections of the pragmatism reintroduced
into war by the Puritans and other Protestants. As we survey the
war-mangled bodies of our fellow humans who have been killed more
efficiently and more pragmatically, perhaps we realize that
Renaissance pageantry was not so silly after all.
Despite its early successes, the new Puritan government under
Cromwell did not last very long. The Stuart dynasty regained the
British throne in 1660 with the crowning of Charles II (son of the
beheaded Charles I). Charles II died 25 years later in 1685 without
an heir, and so his brother, James II, took the throne. James ruled
a mere three years, after which a second English revolution was
launched in 1688 known as the “Glorious Revolution.”
Although a big issue was still Protestantism versus Catholicism, the
did not lead the Glorious Revolution. In fact, a great many Puritans
had fled England to establish colonies in North America after
Charles II assumed the throne. The Glorious Revolution was led, in
part, by none other than the House of Orange-Nassau. By the time of
the Glorious Revolution, the House of Orange was firmly seated on
the Dutch throne. How Orange also came to take the British throne
and reign over three nations at once is a fascinating story of
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William and Mary
Have a War
KING CHARLES II of England and his brother/successor, James II, had a
sister, Mary, who had married the Dutch Prince of Orange. This
marriage created a family tie between the royal houses of Britain
and Holland. This tie was further strengthened by the marriage of
James II’s daughter, Mary II, to the son of the Prince of Orange,
William III. Royal marriages in those times were not only matters of
“breeding,” they were also designed to secure political advantages
and were often arranged with all of the sophistication and cunning of
an espionage coup.
Several German royal families were masters at
the game. They were notorious for marrying into foreign royal
families as a stepping stone to seizing power in those other
nations. The House of Orange-Nassau was a member of that treacherous
German clique. The Stuart family, after its hard-won struggle to
regain the English throne, fell into the trap. Its marriages into the
House of Orange helped bring the Stuart monarchy to a permanent end
during the Glorious Revolution of 1688. To understand how this
happened, and why all of
this is important to us, let us briefly review the Glorious
A powerful group of Englishmen and Scots had formed a Protestant
political faction in England known as the Whigs. The Whigs were
actually headquartered in Holland which, of course, was under the
monarchy of the House of Orange. From their Dutch base, the Whigs
launched the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and quickly unseated James
II in a bloodless coup. The Whigs then placed James II’s son-in-law,
William III of Orange, on the British throne. The House of Orange
now reigned over both Holland and England, as well as over their
original German homeland.
Behind this intrigue we see the shadow of the Brotherhood. William
III is reported to have been a Freemason.1 In fact, in 1688, a
militant secret society was formed to support William III. It was
called the Order of Orange after William Ill’s family, and it
patterned itself after Freemasonry. The Orange Order was
anti-Catholic and its purpose was to ensure that Protestantism
remained the dominant Christian religion of England. The Orange
Order has survived the centuries and is today strongest in Ireland
where it has over 100,000 members. It is perhaps best known for its
annual public parade to commemorate the successes of William III in
Upon his assumption of the British throne, William III quickly
undertook to erect the same institutions in England as those which
had been established by his dynasty in Holland: a strong parliament
with a weakened monarchy and a central bank operating on an
inflatable paper currency. William and his queen, Mary II, also
promptly launched England into expensive wars against Catholic
The man chosen to organize the English central bank under William
III was a mysterious Scottish adventurer named William Paterson, of
whom very little was apparently known. The British House of Commons
(parliament) was at first reluctant to accept Paterson’s central bank
scheme, but relented as the British national debt continued to
skyrocket from the conflicts launched by the very warlike William
III. The paper money system with its built-in inflation was touted
as the way to finance the costly wars. Taxes were
already as high as they could reasonably go and so the House of
Commons felt that it had no alternative but to institute the scheme.
The Bank of England was thereby born and warfare could continue, just
as war could continue in Holland after the Bank of Amsterdam had been
The Bank of England has been labeled by some economists the “Mother
of Central Banks.” It became the model for all central banks which
followed it, including the central banks of today. Under the Bank of
England scheme, the central bank was to be the nation’s primary
bank, and it would lend exclusively to the national government. The
central bank’s entire purpose was to put the government into debt
and to be the government’s major creditor. The central bank’s notes
would be lent to the government and those notes would then circulate
as a national currency. This would cause the nation and its people
to rely on those notes as money. The establishment of the Bank of
England caused Britain to go deeply into debt to a monetary elite
(the “paper aristocracy”) which could then influence the use of the
nation’s resources. This is the modus operandi of every central bank
Like most modern central banks, the Bank of England was a
privately-owned or privately-operated bank with quasi-governmental
status. In accordance with Paterson’s plan, the financiers who
pooled their resources to create the Bank of England received
approval from the government to issue gold and silver notes in a
quantity many times exceeding the financiers’ pooled holdings. The
standard practice of bankers during that period was to issue notes
four to five times in excess of their precious metals.
The Bank of England, however, issued an incredible multiplication of 16⅔.
The British government agreed to borrow those notes and honor them as
legal money for use in its purchases. The government accepted this
plan because the government was not required to repay the initial
loan, only the interest on the loan. Would not the Bank of England
lose money on such a deal?
Not at all.
The face value of the loan notes were many times in excess of the
value of the actual assets on which the notes were based. The
interest on the loan in just one year surpassed the total value of
the precious metals of
the Bank of England! Specifically, the financiers had put together a
total base of 72,000 pounds of actual gold and silver. By issuing
notes valued at 16⅔ times the base, the bank was able to make a
loan to England of 1,200,000 Pounds in paper money. The yearly
interest rate was 8⅓ %, which equaled 100,000 Pounds. This
amounted to a profit of 28,000 Pounds, or 39% in just one year!
Twenty-two years after the Bank of England was established, an
identical bank was set up in France in 1716. The founder of the
French version was John Law, who became the Finance Minister of
France. Law has been dubbed the “Father of Inflation” for his
efforts. This title is not accurate, of course, because the
practice of inflation had begun earlier. However, the spectacular
inflation which occurred in France after Law’s central bank was
nationalized gave Law the dubious, honor of the title.
As the son of a goldsmith-turned-banker, John Law was an interesting
character in many ways. He was deeply devoted to the schools of
Brotherhood mysticism that were behind many of the important social
changes occurring in his time.
Biographer Hans Wantoch, writing in
his book Magnificent Money-Makers, describes Law as,
“one of the last
of the alchemist-mystics, of the astrologers who were dying out in
the time of Voltaire, but in his pursuit of the stone of wisdom he
Another interesting fact is that Law was a
Scotsman with an obscure background, just like his earlier
counterpart in England, William Paterson.
The Scottish link between
Law and Patterson may be significant when we later review evidence
that Scotland was an important center of secret, but far-reaching,
Brotherhood activity in Europe.
Law had played upon France’s justifiable paranoia of England in
order to convince the French government to establish a central bank
identical to that of Britain. The warfare which had earlier been
instigated by William III was causing a serious drain on the French
treasury. Law’s proposal seemed an attractive solution and so it was
At first, the new French currency issued under Law’s plan appeared
to revitalize the French economy. This
happened because the banknotes could be redeemed for coins in which
the people had faith. After the Bank of France became nationalized,
however, it issued a severe overabundance of notes, not just a
careful and gradual increase. People quickly realized that there were
far more paper notes in circulation than there were coins to back
them up. The result was a shattering of popular confidence in the
notes and a consequent upheaval of the French economy.
The Glorious Revolution of 1688 not only gave us the Bank of England,
which is still Great Britain’s central bank today, it also gave us
England’s current royal family: the House of Windsor. The House of
Windsor is directly descended from the royal family of German Hannover*, which had intimate ties to the
House of Orange and to
other German principalities in the treacherous marry-and-overthrow
* In Germany, Hannover was spelled with two “n’s.” In Britain, the
spelling had only one “n.” I will use the British spelling “Hanover”
when referring to the family in Britain, and the German spelling
“Hannover” when specifically referring to the German state.
After William III of Orange/England died, his sister Anne
was seated on the British throne. By prior arrangement, upon
Anne’s death, the British throne was relinquished by the Orange
family to the rulers of the German state of Hannover, who had also
earlier married into the British Stuart family. Hannover’s first
elector [prince], Duke Ernest Augustus(1629-1698), had married a
granddaughter of England’s King James I. As was true with the House
of Orange, the Hannoverian nuptials to the Stuart family did not
legally entitle any of the Hannoverians to sit on the British
throne, but with the overthrow of James II by the Whigs and House of
Orange, the rules were changed to suit the victors.
The first Hanoverian king to take the British throne was George
Louis, who became George I of England. George I could not speak
English and he viewed England as a temporary possession. He
continued to devote most of his attention and care to his German
homeland. As generations of Hanoverians ascended to the British
throne, they became permanently entrenched in British society. The
Hanoverians provided England with all of its monarchs through 1901, and Hanoverian descendants from Queen Victoria’s
side have furnished the rest all the way up until today. During all
of that time, the dynasty continued to maintain strong ties to other
German noble families. During the first century and a half of
Hanoverian rule in England, for example, the British Hanoverian kings
married only the daughters of other German royal families.
Not surprisingly, there was widespread opposition in England to the
Hanoverians after they took over. Many Englishmen understandably felt
that German monarchs had no business reigning over British subjects.
Anti-Hanoverian factions arose seeking to put the Stuarts back on
the throne of England. Because of this, the Hanoverians decided not
to allow a large standing army of native Britons, fearing they might
stage a coup. Instead, whenever England required a large number of
troops, the Hanoverians used money from the British treasury to rent
mercenaries from their German friends and from their own German
principality of Hannover, all at a most handsome fee.
number of mercenaries were provided by the royal family of Hesse,
which had close and friendly ties to the German House of Hannover. A
curious aspect of the mercenary arrangement is that some important
members of those German families, especially from Hesse, later
emerged as leaders of a new type of Freemasonry which had been
created to topple the Hanoverians from the English throne!
Before we study this remarkable situation, we should look to see what
was happening with Freemasonry at that time. Major changes were
unfolding that were about to make Freemasonry the single largest
branch of the Brotherhood network.
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