GLOBALISM, FREE TRADE, ILLUMINISM & THE "INTERNATIONAL MONEYED ELITE"

by: S.R. Shearer

Sadly, it’s too often characteristic of those who do battle for Christ - especially in the field of politics - that they are prone to see demons; more often than not, they seem to have a greater interest in the devil than they do in God. In their pursuit of the "Just Cause," they often seem not merely to be tantalized by evil, but are actually in very great need of its presence. When there is no venal force afoot, it is difficult to galvanize people - particularly Christians - into political action, especially when that action is as fraught with discomfort and peril as "taking the nation back for Christ." This is no mere "spiritual exercise" in which one can participate at home in the comfort of a "prayer closet." This involves street demonstrations, strikes, passing out leaflets, possibly even jail - all very unpleasant and painful activities.

One does not enter into such activity lightly. There has to be a compelling reason - and that reason must be personified! It’s not good enough to be simply against an idea, a system of thinking. How does one visualize an idea? How do you stick a knife into a thought? Secular humanism, what’s that? This is why Robertson and people like Robertson need the Illuminati - even in the face of all the evidence which indicates that no such cabal has ever existed. The Illuminati Myth personifies the evil against which Robertson et. al. feel themselves arrayed. Indeed, arguments and evidence which might demonstrate to Robertson and his cohorts the groundless or exaggerated quality of such a fear are not welcomed as sources of relief, but are resented as denials of their own deep psychological outlets - intrusions which, if taken seriously, would demand a drastic reorientation of their "life-work." It is in this way that myths like the Illuminati Myth have become "precious things" to them, and rather than seeking liberation - of being relieved to find that there is no substance to these myths - they often hold blindly to them, even in the face of persuasive arguments to the contrary.[1] And in a perverse sort of way, who can blame them? - after all, if the impetus of one’s life feeds on this myth (perhaps the better word is "phobia"), then the myth, instead of being easily discarded, will be maintained at all costs.

Indeed, in the name of vigilance, sin - especially sin in others - has become their preoccupation. Their own relationship with God takes a back seat to their obsession with the devil in others - even to the extent of appropriating to themselves what are taken to be "New Age" methodologies (the very methodologies they so despise in the so-called Illuminists) in order to carry on the struggle against them - i.e., incessant networking, pyramiding, secrecy, infiltration, the formation of front organizations, the formation of political action committees, etc.

The fact of the matter is, evangelicals have become obsessively engaged in a "witch hunt" to find an "outside" source to the problems which they feel beset the nation and their way of life. But the Bible does not dwell on such a source; it speaks of no "outside, international intrigue" which can be traced back to a secret cabal of Satanic conspirators. The Bible says that the source of man’s problems stems from within himself, not from without:

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts (the desire for material wealth, etc.) that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war ..." (James 4:1-2)

This is not to say that there does not in fact exist an "international moneyed elite;" but that elite is not the highly orchestrated, structured organization that the Illuminati Myth postulates - one which is governed by a hidden cabal of evil geniuses under the impress of a Satanic scheme to take over the world; to say so is to ascribe to this elite a genius and purpose it simply does not possess. The fact of the matter is, the men which make up this elite are petty, small-minded people driven by a stingy, selfish greed of the most trivial and short-sighted type. And this is easily demonstrated.

Take "Free Trade" and "globalization" for example - issues which, according to Robertson, have been fiendishly designed to entangle the United States in crippling alliances fabricated to limit U.S. sovereignty and independence and bring it under the suzerainty of the United Nations (yet it's interesting to note that Robertson supported NAFTA - he seems to speak out of both sides of his mouth on the issues of globalism and Free Trade, saying one thing to his evangelical constituency and another to his financial backers). But the fact of the matter is, Free Trade is hardly the result of a well thought-out scheme. To get an idea of how Free Trade has developed, it's necessary to examine specific examples; take, for instance, the banking industry’s plunge into the international market. The banking industry is particularly interesting because the dynamic behind it has been especially crucial in helping to propel other industries and other American corporations into the international market; more specific still, take Citibank. [2]

Among American banks, Citibank has been the leader in plunging into the international market place. All during the 1970s and ’80s Citibank pressed loans on a variety of Third World countries. And the reason? - altruism? a sense of moral obligation towards the less well-off of the world? the result of a well thought-out Satanic plot? NO! - it was none of these things. The fact is, Citibank stumbled into Free Trade as a result of its own greed - specifically, the high (even usurious) interest rates it could charge on Third World loans. The fact of the matter is that during the 1970s Citi was earning record profits on its loans to Third World governments in Latin America and Asia.

So massive was Citibank’s effort to increase its portfolio of loans to Third World governments (and, ipso facto, earn the high interest rates which derived from them) that when finance ministers met in Washington for the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (which, despite their names, are really American institutions) they were literally accosted on the street by loan hawkers from Citibank (average Americans should be so lucky!). Indeed, on the short walk between the Shoreham and Sheraton hotels the finance minister from one poor Latin American republic was stopped by five separate loan officers all hawking loans at high interest rates for projects of dubious value.[3] One former Latin American minister of finance recalls how "the bankers tried to corner me at conferences, to offer me loans. They wouldn’t leave me alone ... It’s terribly tempting to borrow money ..."[4]

The loan-selling campaign may have given the ministers gray hairs, but Citibank was elated. The "Developing World" - a euphemism for a mixed bag of insolvent countries, some with potential for long-term growth, some with virtually none - had become Citi’s "cash cow." As the president of Citibank put it, "Around here, it’s Jakarta that pays the check."[5] Citibank’s net income from Latin America increased 300 percent between 1972 and 1974. Earnings from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa rose by more than 200 percent in the same period. The bank even assembled a list of the "global elite" made up of the 5000 or so people around the world who are supposed to have individual net worths greater than $100-million, offering them VIP Citicorp bank cards with a $500,000 line of credit combined with various other services which included the use of private planes, bodyguards, access to Fifth Avenue stores in the wee hours of the morning for "solo shopping," etc. Other banks and credit card companies followed Citi’s lead. American Express began courting the same group of elite "worthies" by offering its "Black Card" (and you thought the gold and platinum cards were prestigious - how silly) replete with the same "extras" that Citi offered. The greed, carnality and rapacity here were disgusting - even sickening.[6]

By the mid-1980s, Citibank was earning half of its profits from the usurious interest rates it was charging the Third World and the credit card business it was doing with the opulent "fat cats" on its prestigious "Five Thousand List" (many of whom, it would later develop, had derived their wealth from drugs and various other questionable business practices).[7]

The "Third World Debt Crisis" which finally resulted as the consequence of this avarice has been described as a "morality play," a story of greed, corruption, naiveté, and "unbankerlike" behavior.[8] But Citi didn’t go under. It survived and even prospered. How? - by convincing the government to help bail it out of its bad loans and by trading the loans it couldn’t dump on the U.S. tax payer for equity in the Third World (mainly Latin America and Asia).

Much of the equity Citi acquired consisted of factories producing goods for which there were no real markets in the countries in which they were located. In order to make these "equities" pay, Citi had to develop markets for the products these factories produced. And where, does one guess, Citi found that market? Does one suppose that Citi - out of the goodness of its heart - set out to develop indigenous consumer markets in the Third World? Of course not! - that would have required that Citi become involved in helping to raise the living standard of ordinary people in these countries in order to make them consumers - an investment in time and money they wanted no part of! It was, of course, to the U.S. market that Citi turned.

As a result, Citi, as well as most of the other big banks which had become involved in lending to the Third World (i.e., Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Hanover Trust, Morgan, etc.), began pushing "Free Trade" with a vengeance. "Free Trade" became a device through which the big banks led by Citi rescued themselves from the debt crisis which they themselves had helped to create. And who paid the price? - U.S. workers who lost their jobs as the result of the flood of cheap imports. And did those indigenous workers in the "Developing World" benefit from their new factory jobs? - for the most part, they didn’t! Most continue to labor long hours in filthy and even inhumane conditions for pennies a day producing Liz Claiborne scarves, Nike shoes, Armani shirts, etc. for the new yuppie investor class. And they’re kept in line by the same Death Squads which won the war for "free enterprise" during the 1980s in El Salvador, Brazil, Guatemala, the Phillipeans, etc. - the very ones Phil Derstine, Cubie Ward, Larry Lea and Pat Robertson were involved with in the 1980s. And this isn’t just a turn of events the left alone has picked up on, but one which even The Wall Street Journal has noticed and reported on in a series of scathing articles in June and July of 1995.

Yes, it seems the Death Squads are alive and well, and their new paymasters are precisely those corporations producing Armani shirts for the American yuppie elite. And their new targets? they’re no longer the old-line Sandinistas, etc. Ollie North and Elliot Abrams targeted in the 1970s and ’80s, but the laborers and peasants these "Freedom Fighters" were supposed to have "liberated" - peasants who are now employed (maybe the better word is "enslaved") in the "free enterprise zones" Citi and other American corporations have set up in South and Central America, and other locations throughout the so-called "Developing World." And the reason they’re being targeted (and thereby intimidated)? - to keep them in line and prevent them from demanding better wages and more humane living conditions.

This is the kind of avarice which is driving "Free Trade." And these are the kind of people the evangelicals - by allying themselves with the Republican Party and the Wall Street faction which has historically run that party - have gotten themselves mixed up with. And to say that evangelicals haven’t crawled into bed with them is simply a craven exercise in abject self-deception.

One should ask himself, for what reason did Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson support NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Association)? It certainly wasn’t because most of their constituencies did - polls indicate that most evangelicals were dead set against this measure. Why then did Reed and Robertson - as well as most other so-called "responsible" evangelical leaders support NAFTA if not because they had already been compromised (i.e., "bought off") by Wall Street money? One should ask Robertson and the rest of them to prove us wrong by opening their books so average evangelicals can take a look. They won’t, of course, because it’s true.

There’s a price to be paid when Christians involve themselves with the world’s money and - ipso facto - the world’s politics! - and that price is paid in toadyism to the elites, and dishonor and shame insofar as their reputations - and the reputations of their churches and their God - are concerned.

Pat Robertson rails against the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Affairs, and the Illuminist Conspiracy as the culprits behind the drift towards a "New World Order." But maybe he should have looked to himself.

  1. This incisive analysis was taken from Michael Parenti, The Anti-Communist Impulse (New York: Random House, 1969), pgs. 30-32.
  2. Please see Dr. Ravi Batra, The Myth of Free Trade (New York: Charles Schreibner’s Sons, 1993, pgs, 1-4.
  3. Richard J. Barnet and John Cavanagh, Global Dreams, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), pg. 368.
  4. Raul L. Madrid, Overexposed: U.S. Banks Confront the Third World Debt Crisis (Washington: Investor Responsibility Research Center, 1990), pgs. 42-45.
  5. Op. Cit., Barnet, pgs. 370-75.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 370-75.
  7. James S. Henry, "Where the Money Went," New Republic, Apr. 14, 1986, pg. 22.
  8. Op. Cit., Barnet, pg. 370-75.

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