Where This Meets That
When I first read this about six years ago, it blew me away. While I didn’t necessarily buy everything Griffin was selling, it served as a sober reminder that we, the world public, see only the uppermost tip of the iceberg that is world politics.
As the years and events have unfolded since that first reading, I’ve found that many of Griffin’s more controversial historical claims were indeed true, while his predictions of events (the rise of terrorism, the growing scale of bailouts, etc.) that would come to pass after his writing have played out with tragic accuracy.
As the title states, the book centers on the U.S. Federal Reserve. But don’t dismiss it as “boring” just because it’s about banking. It’s extremely fascinating and ranks as one of the most important political history books I’ve ever read.
The book begins with a secret 1910 train ride involving “seven men who represented an estimated one-fourth of the total wealth of the entire  world.” (p. 5). The destination was Jekyll Island, GA. The story given to the press was that it was a simple duck-hunting trip, but the real purpose was to draft the blueprint for the Federal Reserve, i.e., “the creature”.
Griffin argues that the Federal Reserve is neither “federal” nor a “reserve” in the true sense of either word. Instead, Griffin asserts that it is a banking cartel that has successfully fleeced the American taxpayers for the century since being established in 1913.
He describes in great detail what he calls “the Mandrake Mechanism”, named after an old comic strip magician who was able to create things out of mid-air and be able to vanish them with equal ease. This, he argues, is the manner in which the Federal Reserve manages our fiat money supply.
A staggering observation Griffin makes is that our entire money supply is comprised of debt. If every debt in our nation were paid in full, our money supply would totally vanish! How does one go into debt but by borrowing? And why do lenders lend but for interest? The basic assertion Griffin makes is that the Federal Reserve is not only unconstitutional but also immoral on the basis that it creates money out of nothing then lends that money out at interest that is insured by the U.S. taxpayers.
Citing numerous failed historical fiat economic systems (including several from our own nation’s past), he notes several common characteristics that should draw our attention. One notable trait is the close coupling of fiat economies and wars. Drawing parallels across his cited cases, Griffin describes an apparent operational template for how and why we get drawn into seemingly arbitrary military operations around the globe.
Another trait common to fiat economies is their eventual collapse. Griffin compares such a debt-driven economic philosophy to stepping off a high cliff planning only to fall a few feet. The philosophical lure of the Mandrake Mechanism – elasticity of the money supply to adapt to economic pressures – is doomed to failure by the fundamental conflict of interest formed by politicians who govern by ambition and bankers whose lifeblood is lending at interest. Inevitably, we keep falling.
The Creature from Jekyll Island is an incredible, sprawling journey that takes us through an informative history of money and a scathing vision of the major wealth dynasties (i.e., the J.P. Morgans, Rothschilds, etc.) and into the deep waters of conspiracy theory and world domination. Griffin doesn’t play coy about his views on the latter. He declares, “Almost all of history is an unbroken trail of one conspiracy after another. Conspiracies are the norm, not the exception.” (p. 130)
Even though I still can’t buy into all of Griffin’s views, clearly he is no nut. In The Creature from Jekyll Island, he has assembled a captivating, incredibly well supported study that I highly recommend to anyone with a general interest in politics, economics, or general monetary policy.
The Creature from Jekyll Island score: 4 Falcone Rings