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the source of supreme kingship by the male god Enlil of Nippur, and
the matriarchal system of shared communal abundance was forcibly
displaced by a militant patriarchal system. The cornucopia of the
Horned Goddess became the bull horns of the Thunder God, repre-
senting masculine power, virility and force.3
In the temple system, the community extended credit and received
the money back with interest. In the system that displaced it, interest
on debts went into private vaults to build the private fortunes of the
moneychangers. Interest was thus transformed from a source of income
for the community into a tool for impoverishing and enslaving people
and nations. Unlike corn and cows, the gold the moneylenders lent
was inorganic. It did not “grow,” so there was never enough to cover
the additional interest charges added to loans. When there was
insufficient money in circulation to cover operating expenses, farmers
had to borrow until harvest time; and the odd man out in the musical
chairs of finding eleven coins to repay ten wound up in debtor™s prison.
Historically, most slavery originated from debt.4

The Proscription Against Usury

“Usury” is now defined as charging “excess” interest, but origi-
nally it meant merely charging a fee or interest for the use of money.
Usury was forbidden in the Christian Bible, and anti-usury laws were
strictly enforced by the Catholic Church until the end of the Middle
Ages. But in Jewish scriptures, which were later joined to the Chris-
tian books as the “Old Testament,” usury was forbidden only between
“brothers.” Charging interest to foreigners was allowed and even
encouraged.i The “moneychangers” thus came to be associated with
the Jews, but they were not actually the Jewish people. In fact the
Jewish people may have suffered more than any other people from
the moneychangers™ schemes, which were responsible for much anti-
See Deuteronomy (New World Translation) -- 15:6 [Y]ou will certainly lend
on pledge to many nations, whereas you yourself will not borrow; and you must
dominate over many nations, whereas over you they will not dominate. 23:19
You must not make your brother pay interest . . . . 23:20 You may make a
foreigner pay interest, but your brother you must not make pay interest.

Chapter 5 - From Matriarchies of Abundance

In the informative documentary video The Money Masters, Bill
Still and Patrick Carmack point out that when Jesus threw the
moneychangers out of the temple, it was actually to protect the Jew-
ish people. Half-shekels, the only pure silver coins of assured weight
without the image of a pagan Emperor on them, were the only coins
considered acceptable for paying the Temple tax, a tribute to God.
But half-shekels were scarce, and the moneychangers had cornered
the market for them. Like the modern banking cartel, they had mo-
nopolized the medium of exchange and were exacting a charge for its
Despite the injunctions in the New Testament, there were times
when the king needed money. In the Middle Ages, England was short
of gold, which had left during the Crusades. In 1087, when King
William (Rufus) needed gold to do business with the French, he
therefore admitted the moneylenders, on condition that the interest
be demanded in gold and that half be paid to the king. But the
moneylenders eventually became so wealthy at the expense of the
people that the Church, with urgings from the Pope, prohibited them
from taking interest; and in 1290, when they had lost their usefulness
to the king, most Jews were again expelled from the country. This
pattern, in which Jews as a people have been persecuted for the
profiteering of a few and have been used as scapegoats to divert
attention from the activities of the rulers, has been repeated over the

Money as a Simple Tally of Accounts

Meanwhile, England was faced with the problem of what to use
for money when the country was short of gold. The coinage system
was commodity-based. It assumed that “money” was something hav-
ing value in itself (gold or silver), which was bartered or traded for
goods or services of equal value. But according to Stephen Zarlenga,
who has traced the origins and history of money in his revealing com-
pendium The Lost Science of Money, the use of coins as money did
not originate with merchants trading in the marketplace. The first
known coins were issued by governments; and their value was the
value stamped on them, not the price at which the metal traded.
Zarlenga quotes Aristotle, who said:
Money exists not by nature but by law. [It acts] as a measure [that]
makes goods commensurate and equates them. . . . There must
then be a unit, and that fixed by agreement.7
Web of Debt

Money was a mere fiat of the law. Fiat means “let it be done” in
Latin. “Fiat money” is money that is legal tender by government decree.
It is simply a “tally,” something representing units of value that can
be traded in the market, a receipt for goods or services that can legally
be tendered for other goods or services. In Mandarin China, where
paper money was invented in the ninth century, this sort of fiat
currency funded a long and prosperous empire. Fiat money was also
used successfully in medieval England, but in England it was made of
The English tally system originated with King Henry I, son of
William the Conqueror, who took the throne in 1100 A.D. The printing
press had not yet been invented, and taxes were paid directly with
goods produced by the land. Under King Henry™s innovative system,
payment was recorded with a piece of wood that had been notched
and split in half. One half was kept by the government and the other
by the recipient. To confirm payment, the two halves were matched
to make sure they “tallied.” Since no stick splits in an even manner,
and since the notches tallying the sums were cut right through both
pieces of wood, the method was virtually foolproof against forgery.
The tally system has been called the earliest form of bookkeeping.
According to historian M. T. Clanchy in From Memory to Written
Record, England 1066-1307:
Tallies were . . . a sophisticated and practical record of numbers.
They were more convenient to keep and store than parchments,
less complex to make, and no easier to forge.8
Only a few hundred tallies survive, Clanchy writes, but millions
were made. Tallies were used by the government not only as receipts
for the payment of taxes but to pay soldiers for their service, farmers
for their wheat, and laborers for their labor. At tax time, the treasurer
accepted the tallies in payment of taxes. By the thirteenth century,
the financial market for tallies was sufficiently sophisticated that they
could be bought, sold, or discounted. Tallies were used by individuals
and institutions to register debts, record fines, collect rents, and enter
payments for services rendered. In the 1500s, King Henry VIII gave
them the force of a national currency when he ordered that tallies
must be used to evidence the payment of taxes.9 That meant everyone
had to have them. In War Cycles, Peace Cycles, Richard Hoskins
writes that by the end of the seventeenth century, about 14 million
pounds™ worth of tally-money was in circulation.10 Zarlenga cites a
historian named Spufford, who said that English coinage had never

Chapter 5 - From Matriarchies of Abundance

exceeded half a million pounds up to that time.11 The tally system
was thus not a minor monetary experiment, as some commentators
have suggested. During most of the Middle Ages, tallies may have
made up the bulk of the English money supply. The tally system was
in use for more than five centuries before the usury bankers™ gold-
based paper banknotes took root, helping to fund a long era of leisure
and abundance that flowered into the Renaissance.

A Revisionist View of the Middle Ages

Modern schoolbooks generally portray the Middle Ages as a time
of poverty, backwardness, and economic slavery, from which the
people were freed only by the Industrial Revolution; but reliable early
historians painted a quite different picture. Thorold Rogers, a nine-
teenth century Oxford historian, wrote that in the Middle Ages, “a
labourer could provide all the necessities for his family for a year by work-
ing 14 weeks.” Fourteen weeks is only a quarter of a year! The rest of
the time, some men worked for themselves; some studied; some fished.
Some helped to build the cathedrals that appeared all over Germany,
France and England during the period, massive works of art that were
built mainly with volunteer labor. Some used their leisure to visit these
shrines. One hundred thousand pilgrims had the wealth and leisure
to visit Canterbury and other shrines yearly. William Cobbett, author
of the definitive History of the Reformation, wrote that Winchester
Cathedral “was made when there were no poor rates; when every
labouring man in England was clothed in good woollen cloth; and
when all had plenty of meat and bread . . . .” Money was available for
inventions and art, supporting the Michelangelos, Rembrandts,
Shakespeares, and Newtons of the period.12
The Renaissance is usually thought of as the flowering of the age;
but the university system, representative government in a Parliament,
the English common law system, and the foundations of a great liter-
ary and spiritual movement were all in place by the thirteenth cen-
tury, and education was advanced and widespread. As one scholar
of the era observes:
We are very prone to consider that it is only in our time that
anything like popular education has come into existence. As a
matter of fact, however, the education afforded to the people in
the little towns of the Middle Ages, represents an ideal of
educational uplift for the masses such as has never been even
distantly approached in succeeding centuries. The Thirteenth
Web of Debt

Century developed the greatest set of technical schools that the
world has ever known. . . . These medieval towns, . . . during the
course of the building of their cathedrals, of their public buildings
and various magnificent edifices of royalty and for the nobility,
succeeded in accomplishing such artistic results that the world
has ever since held them in admiration.13
The common people had leisure, education, art, and economic
security. According to The Catholic Encyclopedia:
Economic historians like Rogers and Gibbins declare that during
the best period of the Middle Ages “ say, from the thirteenth to
the fifteenth century, inclusive “ there was no such grinding
and hopeless poverty, no such chronic semi-starvation in any
class, as exists to-day among large classes in the great cities . . . .
In the Middle Ages there was no class resembling our proletariat,
which has no security, no definite place, no certain claim upon
any organization or institution in the socio-economic organism.14
Richard Hoskins attributes this long period of prosperity to the
absence of usurious lending practices.15 Rather than having to borrow
the moneylenders™ gold, the people relied largely on interest-free tallies.
Unlike gold, wooden tallies could not become scarce; and unlike paper
money, they could not be counterfeited or multiplied by sleight of hand.
They were simply a unit of measure, a tally of goods and services
exchanged. The tally system avoided both the depressions resulting
from a scarcity of gold and the inflations resulting from printing paper
money out of all proportion to the goods and services available for
sale. Since the tallies came into existence along with goods and services,
supply and demand increased together, and prices remained stable.
The tally system provided an organic form of money that expanded
naturally as trade expanded and contracted naturally as taxes were
paid. Bankers did not have to meet behind closed doors to set interest
rates and manipulate markets to keep the money supply in balance. It
balanced the way a checkbook balances, as a matter of simple math.
The system of government-issued tallies kept the British economy stable
and thriving until the mid-seventeenth century, when Oliver Cromwell,
the “Pretender,” needed money to fund a revolt against the Tudor
monarchy . . . .

Web of Debt

Chapter 6

“Oz is a Great Wizard, and can take any form he wishes. . . . But
who the real Oz is, when he is in his own form, no living person can
“ The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,
“The Guardian of the Gates”

T he image of puppet and puppeteer has long been a popular
metaphor for describing the Money Power pulling the strings
of government. Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister from 1868
to 1880, said, “The world is governed by very different personages
from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”
Nathan Rothschild, who controlled the Bank of England after 1820,
notoriously declared:
I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to
rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls
Britain™s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the
British money supply.
In the documentary video The Money Masters, narrator Bill Still
uses the puppet metaphor to describe the transfer of power from the
royal line of English Stuarts to the German royal House of Hanover in
the eighteenth century:
England was to trade masters: an unpopular King James II for a
hidden cabal of Money Changers pulling the strings of their

Chapter 6 - Pulling the Strings of the King

usurper, King William III, from behind the scenes. This symbiotic
relationship between the Money Changers and the higher British
aristocracy continues to this day. The monarch has no real power
but serves as a useful shield for the Money Changers who rule
the City . . . . In its 20 June 1934 issue, New Britain magazine of
London cited a devastating assertion by former British Prime
Minister David Lloyd George, that “Britain is the slave of an
international financial bloc.”1
Where did these international financiers come from, and how had
they achieved their enormous power? The moneylenders had been
evicted not only from England but from other European countries.
They had regrouped in Holland, where they plotted their return; but
the English kings and queens staunchly resisted their advances. The
king did not need to borrow money when he had the sovereign right


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