Friday, February 20, 2009

What is we need it??


by Hilaire Belloc

published in December 1931


Every economic truth has two aspects: a moral aspect and a mathematical one.

If a man tells you that he is going to Marseilles and back first class in order to steal the Mayor's watch you may point out to him that this wicked act will not be worth his while, because you know the watch and it is not worth a quarter of the return fare. You might emphasize the wickedness you here emphasize the economic waste.

Usury is at once very wicked and — in pure economics, and as a merely mathematical statement — it can be proved to proceed in action to the ultimate ruin of the community. In earlier times the moral evil was emphasized. Today the economic evil should at least receive attention.

The time in which we have the privilege to live is not only remarkable for a grand emancipation from moral standards, but also for two other characters — peculiar to it I think among all the epochs on which we have historical record. These two characters are, first, a disinclination, which is becoming with more and more an inability, to use the intelligence second, a general understanding among those whose business it is to inform the world that matters of importance shall never be mentioned.

Ruminating upon these various features of my generation I determined to cast t his brief essay into the form which I humbly present to the reader. I have, it will be observed, said little about the moral aspect of Usury. I have insisted rather upon the purely economic or mathematical aspect. Happily it is both the one on which it is easier to write and the one for which the framework within which one writes may be more strictly limited.

The thesis, being of the utmost clarity and simplicity (and also, for that matter, as old as the hills), may be stated so as to put the least strain upon the intelligence and to achieve that very necessary end I have been at some pains.

In the last point which I mentioned, the understanding that matters of real importance should never be discussed, I fear I have transgressed. For indeed it must be evident to all, when once the very simple principles at work are grasped, that Usury is indeed a matter of first-rate public importance. It is a matter of life and death.

But in daring to introduce a subject of real moment amid discussions upon professional politicians, horse-racing and the weather, I have a certain excuse which I hasten to put forward. If it is accepted I shall be pardoned. The excuse is this: that Usury, although of such serious consequence for each of us, has in this particular month and year, what the great men who mould modern thought call among themselves news value. These men are the owners of those popular newspapers which were called in my youth The Gutter and, a little later, The Yellow Press. Every journalist who has worked at a wage for these worthies, commoners or poeers, can testify to what a tragic spiritual struggle in them the conflict between news value and the desire to suppress important things gives rise. I am happy to say, as a rule, news value, when it is high, carries the day.

Now the news value of Usury today is about as high as it could be. Society in the western world (but especially in England), humanity in what used to be called Christendom, is manifestly in grave danger through the consequences of its own action. A larger and larger number of its members is destitute in the midst of plenty, and universal alarm has arisen amongst us at the prospect of an economic machine which is ceasing to function: ceasing to feed, clothe, and house mankind.

The causes are convergent and many, though most of them can be related to the common function of greed. For as it is true that those who take the sword shall perish by the sword, so it is true that those countries which make acquisition the end of life, perish from the decay of wealth. But though the causes of our present alarms are many, and though Usury be but one of them, it is a major one and a manifest one. The effort to gather harvest from barren land, to draw water from a dry well, to seize tribute from those who cannot give it from true revenue but must provide it from stock, begins by ruining the mass of men to the profit of the few. The process is masked so long as the total wealth present does not appear to diminish. But there comes a point (and we have reached or have passed it) when the effort can no longer be sustained, when the tribute can no longer be paid in fullness, and when the decline of the community as a whole follows on the destruction of the small owner, the small earner and what was once the solid middle class, the main substance of the State.

It is notorious in England today that Income Tax and Super Tax almost exactly account for the sum required to pay interested upon war debt. Now war loans are the supreme example of Usury, that is, of interest upon an unproductive loan.

Every man and woman in England who is finding it now difficult, and will soon find it impossible, to pay this tribute (which goes in part to foreigners but mostly to the Banks) is receiving an object lesson in the working of Usury. The whole world in general is receiving such object lessons when whole nations (Australia is one example, Austria another) having been compelled to pay interest out of further borrowing comes to a standstill.

It is in the presence of such examples vivid and immediate, that discussions upon Usury, definitions of it, and investigation of its nature are grimly worthwhile.


Usury does not mean high interest. It means any interest, however low, demanded for an unproductive loan. It is not only immoral (on which account it has been condemned by every moral code — Pagan — Mohammedan — or Catholic) but it is ultimately destructive of society. It has only been the rule of our commerce to take usury since the breakup of Europe following on the Reformation. Usury will destroy our society, but meanwhile there is no escape from it. We are coming near the end of its maleficent action, not through awaking to its evils but because it is reaching the end of its resources. The Great War loans, which are almost entirely usurious, have powerfully accelerated this process.

The modern world is organized on the principle that money of its nature breeds money. A sum of money lent has, according to our present scheme, a natural right to interest. That principle is false in economics as in morals. It ruined Rome, and it is bringing us to our end.

Supposing a man comes to you and says: There is a field next to mine which is a very good building site; if I put up a good little house on it I shall be able to let that house at a net profit — all rates, taxes and repairs paid — of £100 a year. But I have no capital with which to build this house. The field will cost £50 and the house £950. Will you lend me £1,000, so that I can buy the field, put up the house, and enjoy this nice little income? You would presumably answer, Where do I come in? You get your £100 a year all right; but you only get it by my aid, and therefore I ought to share in the profits. Let us go fifty-fifty. You take £50 every year as your share for your knowledge of the opportunity and for your trouble, and hand me over the other £50. That will be five percent on my money, and I shall be content.

This answer, granted that property is a moral right, is a perfectly moral proposition. The borrower accepting that proposition certainly has no grievance. For a long time (theoretically, forever) you could go on drawing five percent on the money you lent, with a conscience at ease.

Now let us suppose that man comes to you and says: I know the case of a man in middle age who has been suddenly stricken with a terrible ailment. Medical aid costing £1,000 will save his life, but he will never be able to do any more work. He has an annuity of £100 a year to keep him alive after the operation and subsequent treatment. Will you lend the £1,000? It will be paid back to you on his death, for his life has been insured in a lump payment for the amount of £1,000. You answer: I will lend £1,000 to save his life, but I shall require of him half his annuity, that is £50 a year, for every year he may live henceforward; and he must scrape along as best he can on the remaining £50 of his annuity. That answer would make you feel a cad if you have any susceptibilities left, and if you have not — having already become a cad through the action of what the poet has called the soul's long dues of hardening and decay — it would be a caddish action all the same, though you might not be disturbed by it.

It seems therefore that there are conditions under which you may legitimately and morally lend £1,000 at five percent in perfect security of conscience, and others in which you cannot.

Now look at the matter from another angle.

Suppose the following case.

When the American city of Boston was founded, three hundred years ago, a man in London proposing to emigrate thither left gold to the value of £1,000 with a London goldsmith, under a bond that the goldsmith might use the money until he or his heirs should demand it, but with the proviso that five percent on the capital should accrue at compound interest until it was withdrawn. The emigrant did not reappear. The goldsmith's business developed, as so many of them did, into a sort of bank as the seventeenth century wore on. By the beginning of the eighteenth it was a bank in due form, and its successor today is part of one of the great banking concerns of our time. The original deposit has gone on fructifying, as the phrase goes, with the liability piling up, but no one claiming it.

At last, in this year 1931, an heir turns up and proves his title. The capital sum into which this modest investment of a thousand pounds at five percent has grown is to be paid over to him under an order of the court. Do you know how much it will come to? — More than twice the annual revenue of the United States today.

Let us take a less fantastic example, and perhaps it will be more convincing. Supposing a man to have lent £10,000 on mortgage at six percent upon an English gentleman's estate at the beginning of the American War of Independence, in 1776: the said estate to pay £600 a year to the lender. The debt is not pressed. The embarrassed gentleman is allowed to add to the principal the annual payments due, so that the whole sums up at the rate of six percent compound interest.

That is not at all an impossible supposition. Do you know what the mortgage-holder could demand of that estate today? Nearly five million pounds a year!

Neither of these examples could arise in practice because the law forbids such prolonged accumulation, but the very fact that the law has been compelled to do so, is proof that there is something wrong with the current notion everywhere acted upon, that money earns a certain rate of interest and has a moral right to it without regard to the way in which the capital is employed.

For what is common to all these illustrations is the patent fact that interest on a loan may, under some circumstances of time or extent, be a demand for an impossible tribute. It may under some circumstances be a tribute which is not morally due, because it does not represent an extra production of wealth due to the original investment. It is under some circumstances a demand for wealth which is not connected with the produce of the original investment, and the payment of which is therefore not a payment of part profit, but a payment to be made, if possible, out of whatever other wealth the debtor can obtain; and a tribute which, beyond a certain point, cannot even be paid at all, because the wherewithal to pay it is not present in society.

What are those circumstances? What are the conditions distinguishing a demand for payment of interest which is legitimate in morals from a demand which is illegitimate?

The distinction lies between a demand for part of the product of a productive loan, which is moral, and the immoral demand for either (1) interest on an unproductive loan, or (2) interest greater than the annual increment in real wealth which a productive loan creates. Such a demand wears down — eats up — drains dry the wealth of the borrower, and that is why it is called Usury. A derivation inaccurate in philology, but sound in morals, rightly connects usura, usury, with the idea of destroying, using up, rather than with the original idea of usus, a use.

Usury, then, is a claiming of interest upon an unproductive loan, or of interest greater than the real increment produced by a productive loan. It is the claiming of something to which the lender has no right, as though I should say: Pay me ten sacks of wheat a year for the rent of these fields after the fields had been swallowed up by the sea, or after they had fallen to producing annually much less than ten sacks of wheat.

I must here reluctantly introduce a colloquial meaning of the word "Usury" which confuses thought. People talk of usurious interest meaning very high interest. It is obvious how the confusion arose. Very high interest is commonly greater than the real wealth produced even by a productive loan, and to demand it is, in effect, to demand more than the produce of the original loan; but there is nothing in the rate of interest per se which renders such interest usurious. You may demand one hundred percent on a loan and be well within your moral rights.

For instance, a small claim which was producing 500 ounces of gold a year has a sudden opportunity for producing 200 times as much, 100,000 ounces, if capital the equivalent of only 1,000 ounces can be obtained for development. The lender of that new capital is under no moral obligation to give all the vastly increased profits as a present to the borrower. He can legitimately claim his portion; he might well ask for half the new produce, that is 50,000 ounces per annum, 500 percent on his loan, for that very high interest would only come to half the new wealth produced. To ask for that 500 percent would not be an exaction of tribute from wealth that was not present, nor for wealth that was not created by the capital invested.

Strictly speaking, then, usury has nothing to do with the amount of interest demanded, but with the point whether there is or is not produced by the capital invested an increment at least equal to the tribute demanded.

If authority is asked for so obvious a position in morals it may be found in every great moral system sanctioned by the religious and permanent social philosophies adopted by men. Aristotle [1] forbids it, St. Thomas forbids it. The Mohammedan system of ethics condemns it (and in practice condemns it unintelligently because it forbids many loans that are useful). [2] In particular we have the luminous decision of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215).

So far, so good. Next let us note the very interesting development of modern times since the break-up of our common European moral and religious system at the Reformation. After that disaster usury gradually became admitted. It grew to be a general practice sanctioned by the laws, and the payment of it enforced by the civil magistrate. In England it was under the reign of Cecil, in the year 1571, that interest, though limited to ten percent, became legal without regard to the use made of the loan. The birth year of what may be called Indiscriminate Usury is 1609, when, under Calvinism, the Bank of Amsterdam started on its great career of stimulating fortunate capacity and ruining the unfortunate. In general the governments which broke away from the unity of Christendom one after the other introduced legalized usury, and thus got a start over the conservative nations which struggled to maintain the old moral code. To the new moral, or rather immoral, ideas thus introduced we owe the rapid development of banking in the reformed nations, the financial hold they acquired and maintained for three centuries. Everyone at last fell into line, and today Usury works side by side with legitimate profit, and, confused with it, has become universal throughout what used to be Christian civilization. It is taken for granted that every loan shall bear interest, without inquiring whether it be productive or unproductive. The whole financial side of our civilization is still based on that false conception.

A very interesting essay might be written upon the ultimate fruits of such a conception in our own time. Were it ever written a good title for it would be, The End of the Reign of Usury. For it is becoming pretty clear that the inherent vice of the system under which long ago the Roman Imperial social scheme broke down is beginning to break down our own international financial affairs. With this difference, however: that they broke down from private usury, we from public.

But that is by the way; to return to our muttons. Usury being a demand for money that is not there (a tribute levied, not upon the produce of capital, but upon a margin beyond that produce, or even upon no produce at all), Usury being therefore, when once it is universally admitted, at first a machine for ultimate draining of all wealth into the hands of lenders and for reducing the rest of the community to economic servitude at last; Usury being at last a system which must break down of its own weight — when the demand made is greater than all productivity can meet — why, it may be asked, has it been practiced with success for so long? Why does it seem to be at the root of so vast a progress in production throughout the world?

That it has been in use successfully for all these generations, ever since it was solidly established in general practice during the seventeenth century, no one can deny. Nor can anyone deny that it has accompanied (and, I think, been largely the cause of) the great modern expansion in production. And here arises one of those apparent contradictions between a plain mathematical truth and the results of its negation in practice, of which experience is full. Persuaded by such appearances (for they are appearances only, and deceptive), most men abandon the abstract consideration and are content with the practical result. They say, Under permitted Usury we have flourished. The theory of Usury's being an evil is proved false in practice. Therefore, it is but a medieval error. It is on this account that even so late in the day as this the mere mention of the word usury and a discussion of its ethics has about it the savor of something ridiculous.

Not so long ago everyone would have told you that to adopt the attitude I am adopting here was to write oneself down a crank. The conclusions to which every clear mind must come in the matter were not even considered, but brushed aside as imperfect notions proper to early and uncritical ages when men had not thought out economics or any other science.

The increasing, though still small number of educated men who are growing suspicious of such contempt for the immemorial past and for the moral traditions of Christendom will give these objections less weight than they were given a generation ago; but they still have overwhelming weight with the general. If you say today, usury is wrong, or even, usury is dangerous, or even no more than, usury must in the long run break down, all but a very few will, even today, refuse to follow this discussion of the matter. Most of the careless and all the foolish will put you into the company of those who think the earth is flat.

The error is theirs, not ours; yet their error has, as I have said, solid practical backing; for Usury has worked successfully. Productivity has been vastly increased since Usury took root. The last three hundred years have been centuries of immense expansion, and the leaders of it have been precisely those who first threw Christian morals overboard.

What is the explanation? The explanation lies in three considerations:

First, when Usury is universally permitted and enforced, it becomes only part of a general activity for the accumulation of capital with the object of investment. In the days when Usury was illegal and punished, the accumulation of capital for investment was hampered. Incidentally, those days were also days in which the production of wealth upon an increasing scale was not regarded as the end of man. But at any rate, from the purely economic point of view, the ceasing to inquire how capital would be used, the laying it down as a rule that all capital had a right to interest, no matter how it was invested, obviously tended to make accumulation more rapid, and incidentally, to make men keener to ferret out opportunities for productive as well as for unproductive lending.

With that, of course, though from other causes, went the increase of men's powers over nature, the curve of which rose more and more steeply, and perhaps is still rising — though there are signs of fatigue and of interference with that process from causes other than economic, in spite of the rapid accumulation of further scientific knowledge and of its economic application.

This increase in our powers over nature is the second reason why the false action of Usury has been masked for so long. The economic evil of Usury stimulated and accompanied great economic advantage of accumulation for Production, and this legitimate use of money had its opportunity given it by a flood of geographical discovery and new achievements in Physical Science.

The third reason why Usury has not yet worked out its full ill effect is that it has long been automatically checked by repeated breakdowns which wiped out usurious claims. Capital unproductively lent failed to receive its tribute and had to be written off. It is true that Usury on such capital is commonly the last thing to be written off; [3] but written off it is continually, and this intermittent pruning of the unearned tribute has prevented the real character of that tribute from appearing in its full force.

The nineteenth century in particular, and still more the beginning of the twentieth century, is crowded with examples of these breakdowns — myriads of them. Money is invested in a particular enterprise. The enterprise does not fulfill expectations. Though the money no longer earns legitimate interest, debentures are raised, the guaranteed interest on which is strictly Usury. For some time this interest is paid, but over and over again you find that at last even the debenture interest cannot be paid. The whole concern lapses, and the usurious tribute can no longer be exacted. You may see the process at work today in many departments of the textile industry. The mill gets into difficulties; a loan is raised from the bank; interest is promised on the loan, though there is no surplus wealth over and above the cost of production. The interest is met from outside sources; but the process cannot go on forever, and there comes a time when the bank has to write the loan off as a bad debt. As the bank is making money out of other successful and profitable investments it continues to flourish, it continues to make money, its total income increases, and that part which it has lost through the breakdown of Usury is hidden in the general productive scheme; the usurious character of certain receipts is not distinguished from the legitimate character of the majority. But whenever a society shows signs of economic decay, the real nature of Usury, thus submerged and hidden in prosperous times, necessarily appears above the surface.

Mr. Orage many years ago, writing in his paper, The New Age, gave in this connection one of the numerous vivid illustrations of the affair, with that genius of his for exposition which ought to have made him famous. He took the example of an oasis of date-palms in the desert, the water-supply of which is got at by very primitive means. There comes a financier who lends money for development. The capital is productively used; artesian wells are sunk; the water-supply is largely increased; a better organization of the date-cultivation is begun; the produce of the oasis rapidly grows from year to year; the profits legitimately demanded by the financier are a part of the total extra annual wealth, the presence of which has been due to his enterprise. All are well-to-do; everything flourishes.

Then, whether through fatigue, or through war or pestilence, or variations in the external market, or some calamity of climate, things begin to go wrong. The annual wealth produced by the oasis declines. But the interest on the money lent must still be paid. As the cultivators get more and more embarrassed they borrow in order to pay that interest, and there comes a time of overlap, during which, paradoxically enough, the banker appears to be more and more prosperous, though the community which supplies him is getting less and less so. But it is mere arithmetic that the process must come to an end. There will arrive a moment after which the cultivator can no longer find the money to pay the interest, which has long since ceased to be morally due. Mere coercion under an all-powerful police system has got the last penny out of him. The "overlap" between real prosperity and apparent — merely financial or paper — prosperity ceases; and the temporary wealth enjoyed by the lender comes to an end, as had previously come to an end the real prosperity of the borrower.

In other words, great banking prosperity in any particular period may be, and commonly is, the proof of all-round prosperity in that period; but it is not necessarily nor always so. The one is not an inevitable adjunct of the other.

To these general conclusions there is another objection which anyone reasonably well acquainted with history will at once make:

"You tell us" (says the objector) that in other times when the Faith was universally held — times which you perhaps think healthier, but which were certainly much less wealthy and had to deal with, not only a simpler, but a much smaller population — Usury was forbidden. That is quite true. But when you go on to argue that there is therefore an essential difference between that time and our time, or rather the recent past which you call the reign of Usury, a different ethic prevailing now from what prevailed then, you are wrong. You are confusing that which is forbidden with that which is not done. It is true that the moral code of Christendom in Catholic times forbade Usury and punished it; even as late as the Provinciales of Pascal men felt moral indignation against Usury, and right on to the end of the eighteenth century the punishment for Usury continued to play a part in the courts of justice and appeared in the codes of law wherever the Church had power. But in point of fact Usury has always existed, because it always must. It is impossible to draw the line between the productive and the unproductive loan. The money which I lend a sick man may so put him to rights as to make him productive again, and may therefore be regarded as indirectly a productive loan, though unproductive in original intention. The money borrowed by a spendthrift for his pleasures may, on his death, immediately after, before he has had time to waste it, pass to a thrifty heir who invests it productively. Such considerations have always worked strongly upon men's minds. That is why you find Usury plentifully existing in times and societies where it was morally condemned.

Further, even were it possible (which surely as a rule it is not) to draw an exact line between the productive and the unproductive loan, there are all sorts of ways of evading the prohibition to take interest upon an unproductive one: to evade the duty of discovering whether the loan be productive or no. For instance, the Catholic governments, quite as much as the Protestant, issued what the French called Rentes — promises made by government to pay annual incomes. Henry IV of France, after his conversion, was especially active in this form of borrowing. Philip II of Spain, the very champion of Catholicism, sank up to his neck in embarrassment due to borrowing at high interest — borrowing, by a pretty irony, from the very people who were destroying his revenue. A government going to war — that is, about to spend money in an activity commonly unproductive — begged financiers to buy of it annual claims upon the revenue; and there is no difference at all between that and the modern habit of issuing a government loan. Then there was the obvious method of signing a bond for money and receiving less than the sum mentioned in the bond. Thomas Cromwell, of pious memory, was a zealot in this practice, at a time when the full Catholic morals about Usury were still taken for granted. Much earlier, in the true Middle Ages, princes were perpetually borrowing for their wars — principally from the newly arisen Italian banking system; and earlier still, when Usury was the exceptional, but chartered and legal privilege of the Jews and a source of immense revenue to the Christian princes under whom they lived, the practice was openly admitted. Usury therefore has always gone on in human society. It always will go on; discussions upon it are academic and futile.

To this I answer that plain reasoning upon practical matters is never futile. If I say that an over-consumption of alcohol is bad for the human frame, especially in age, it is no answer to give me examples of topers who have to ninety. The evil effect of over-drinking is there, demonstrable and, to any honest mind, unquestioned. It is a mere question of experiment and experience and the use of reason applied to the same. Where true conclusions are apparently contradicted by experience they are so contradicted by other forces which do not make the truth any the less true.

So with this truth about Usury. As long as its impoverishing effects are masked or counter-balanced by stronger forces at work, they are neglected. But they are in existence all the same, and always active. To know that a truth is there, even when it is hidden, is of great practical use; such knowledge is a thing to be kept in reserve for action when the critical hour comes in which it must be applied.

Next it should be pointed out that there is all the difference in the world between a system in which an immoral principle is admitted and one in which, though the immorality is practiced, the principle is denied. There is, and presumably always will be, plenty of adultery, murder, swindling, and the rest, present in society; but the society in which the rights of property are admitted, in which marriage is sacred and to which the taking of human life is abhorrent, is very different from one where the sexes are promiscuous, or where Communism prevails, or where killing for private revenge or whim is an accepted pastime. To murder a bore, to run off with your neighbor's wife, even to pick a man's pocket, are still in our society abnormalities: abnormalities which we old-fashioned people ascribe to the Fall of Man, but which the most exuberant Pelagian will at least not deny to take place. There is all the difference in the world between a society in which such lapses continue, or are even tolerated, and one in which they are called good.

Man stands on two legs; but he can lean on one or on the other. Thus (to take an example I develop in another essay) society in the department of law must insist both upon justice and upon order; and undoubtedly in any civilized society justice tends to be sacrificed to order. But there is all the difference in the world between the atmosphere and character of a society in which injustice is held more abominable than disorder and one in which disorder is held more abominable than injustice. Two parts of one chemical element to four parts of another will give you a certain product. Change the proportions, and quite a different product appears. A society in which Usury, though practiced, is held immoral (not wholly, I admit, to the advantage of economic development) is quite a different thing from a society where Usury is held to be moral. A society in which the lender assumes it to be his moral duty to examine the object of a loan before he considers its profit to himself is different from a society in which he is not expected to do so. A world in which interest upon the unprofitable loan is detested and the Usurer is a villain is quite another society from one in which men have ceased to ask whether a loan be profitable or unprofitable; and this again is a different society from one such as ours, where interest on any loan is demanded as a sort of sacred moral right with which the productivity or lack of productivity of the loan has nothing to do.

Well, then, since to every evil there should be a remedy, what should we say about Usury today? Since I am boasting that this discussion is practical, what about practice?

Let us suppose our opponent convinced; let him make reply:

I agree that Usury is an evil. What is more, I am inclined to agree that we are beginning to feel its evil effects throughout the world today at long last — principally through the enormous example of the great war loans. What then are we to do about it all?

To this I answer in my turn that nothing immediate can be done. You cannot pullout a vital part of any existing social structure. The whole world today reposes upon banking, the whole system of investment renders inquiry about the productive or unproductive quality of an investment normally impossible.

There are especial private cases where you can judge the distinction clearly, and in those cases good men tend to act upon it (as in the case of loans to individuals of our private acquaintance), for the human conscience is at work all the time, even in the most corrupt and complex of societies. But in nine hundred and ninety-nine cases out of a thousand the distinction is impossible. A man is at pains to save. He must use his savings under a system where interest without examination is normal and all the infinite details of a world-wide system of production, distribution, and exchange have so long been based on the acceptation of Usury — as well as on the much larger calculation of legitimate profit — that the two can no more be divided in practice today than can the mixed colors in a dyer's vat. If I go off for six months and leave money on deposit at my bank I can hardly ask what the bank is going to do with the money; and if I did they could not tell me. No one could say how much of it goes to feeding beasts on a fur farm in Canada; how much to a young man who is getting an overdraft on his securities and spending it in riotous living; how much to the development of a useful mine in the Andes. What sane man would hesitate to put his regular little self-denials into savings certificates, or his modest £1000 into a War Loan — that crying instance of Usury? The system must go on till we break, and even the word break is inaccurate. If history is any guide, the true word should rather be decay. Pleasing thought.

I did well to call this book Essays of a Catholic and not Catholic Essays. For if it became a matter of Catholic discipline that men should not today touch that unclean thing, the interest-bearing unproductive loan, discipline would stand self-condemned. The ecclesiastical order could not be obeyed. If by such an analysis as I am here engaged in I were to involve any of my fellow Catholics in the peculiar conclusions reached, I should be doing a very bad turn, not only to the common sense of my fellows, but to their sense of humor as well.

Nevertheless, as the scent manufacturer has it, "Un jour viendra," — "A day will come."

It will indeed.


1. When I was first stammering out my elements as a boy at Oxford, a learned professor assured us in his lecture that the text of Aristotle must have become corrupt, because he could never have said so silly a thing as to call usury wrong. What St. Thomas called it I will wager he never knew.

2. I found in Tunis three years ago that the Mohammedan olive planter wanting to raise a loan for the development of his estate could not get the money from his fellow Mohammedans, but had to borrow from Europeans.

3. Witness the continued interest still paid on bank overdrafts by our failing industries. Another excellent example of the writing off of usurious interest is the scaling down of the French and Italian debts to America.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

deregistration notice from Christian minister Donald Gordon to Registrar and councillors

C/0 Rural Municipality of Duck Lake R.M. Administration
To the private men and women acting as Administrators of a de facto corporation:
- Lois McCormick
- Raymond Wall
-Paul Allman
-Robert Bannerman
-Raymond Blanchard
-Stan Neufeld
-Garry Shupe
(306)- 467-2277 or write to Box 430, Duck Lake,

My name is Donald Gordon Friske and I have a matter of faith sincerely held that is preventing me from paying taxes on my heritage land and I wish you to agree with me on a few things before you proceed to assume to consider you have permission or lawful authority for selling my land.
Blessings upon your grasping the sincerity of this communication in that my life towards the creator has stepped up in recent years and brought about a new awareness of my need to let you know of my faith so no matters of assumption that may bring harm to any of us here may be prevented.
I have joined a Church that is based upon the King James Bible...Your provincial registrar has already agreed to one of our other ministers here in Saskatchewan and a copy is provided for your convenience...I hope you will understand that I have sold the land to the Church who wishes to get an agreement and honourably settle with you as private men and women as to the lawful nature of the tax in origins and if it can be imposed upon to violate the faith her Majesty defends...
I will bring forth more detailed information to you shortly but this is to alert you and bring about clear awareness in your minds and hearts as private men and women as to my sincerity and fully established lawfully applied faith in this matter...You will receive copies of the notice to the private Woman acting as the provincial registrar of deregistration and an ecclesiastical agreement establishing that no authority exists to intimidate me nor obstruct my ministry in nuisance.
Blessings upon your hearts to hear my faith based in fact not fiction and your truly aware minds as to not challenge my living faith with dead fiction law.


Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International

c/o General Delivery, geographical Edmonton Alberta, Canada (no code, non-commercial)

To: The private woman Catherine Benning acting as the provincial Registrar
Of the de facto province of Saskatchewan.

The Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International
Edmonton Ecclesia
C/o Minister Donald Gordon Friske
General Delivery geographical Edmonton Alberta,, no code non commercial

Dear Catherine, the private woman ,

I as God’s minister and a believer in the gospels of Jesus Christ have had it come to my attention that the Government of Canada combined with the provincial governments have since 1933 been operating de facto. The word de facto, so we are clear with each other, means illegitimate and unlawful. I have no intent to argue or intimidate you by this private communication but rather make you fully aware that our Christian faith is defended by the Queen and is based upon the King James Bible and that I as God’s minister am the one being intimidated.
We wish you to also be aware that the King James Bible is the rule of law for all commonwealth courts, bearing the coat of arms of her majesty, and the King James Bible placed with standing at the right of the judge justice or master presiding must be a letters patent version “cum priviligio” to give the court it’s authority.
It because of this ministerial awareness we wish to have a private agreement with you in your private capacity so no assumption of detrimental nature can be acted upon in error by either of us to the anxiety and damage of either our properties or freedoms.

It is in honor and reflection of our official ministerial performance of our function as God’s ministers to not partake of the false god de facto system and registry created by men of wealth and predetermined gain that I gain this private agreement with you.

It is our hope that after you read this and observe the facts you will see the light and honourable position I am seeking and wish you as well will grasp the intent in the honour I am seeking in respecting my faith in God Jehovah’s law. We as God’s minister’s also direct our wish that you will not be encouraged by anyone inclusive of lawyers and the RCMP, who have a long history of distorting the truth, ( we have video taped confessions of RCMP stating that) to intimidate us or extort or coerce our Christian ministry to violate the faith in obeying God’s command.

We welcome your provision of any proof you have of error or omission in the agreement below and your tacit consent will be graciously received should no proof of error in our agreement be forthcoming from you within 20 days time. At that time we will confirm our honor in gaining this ecclesiastical agreement with you by having witnesses signing this same letter of agreement and covenant of Good Faith and effect service of the confirmed agreement with you to ensure our agreement is accepted and un-rebutted . We will allow three days time past the service date of the witnessed agreement and will post circulate and advertise our private agreement for the benefit of all private men and women involved.

1.It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that all the private men and women acting as crown counsel and all provincial lawyers, that may wish to advise you in a public capacity, have by law sworn an oath to God to be truly allegiant to the Queen as dejure Christian monarch styled as “Defender of the Faith” and cannot defend or advise private parties using public taxpayer dollars.

2. It is agreed by you with no rebuttal to the fact that any man or woman who takes an oath to a Christian monarch who does not know the law regarding the meaning of their oath when asked is incompetent to provide the true allegiance as they simply do not know what it is.

3. It is agreed by you with no rebuttal to the fact that corruption is evident and existing within all sectors of government be it municipal provincial or federal and that no man woman or Church can lawfully be compelled to participate with or contractually submit to a corrupt admitted de facto government it’s registries or it’s agents.

4. It is agreed by you with no rebuttal to the fact that any intimidation by any man or woman to violate my faith based in the King James Bible, as defended by the Queen, is treason upon her majesty’s government and is a breach of trust that the oath to God promised to faithfully provide as found in section 122 of the criminal code of Canada that I make no use of.

5. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that the first commandment of God Jehovah in the King James Bible, as defended by her majesty the Queen, is specifically to not bow to nor serve false god’s. Exodus 20:3-5

6. It is agreed, with no rebuttal to the fact, that the eleventh commandment of God in the King James Bible is to not add to his law nor take away from it. Deuteronomy 4:2 ;12:32

7.It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that in a financial relationship the creditor has control over the debtor and that the world bank is the creditor for Canada being the debtor owing in excess of 700 billion fiat dollars.

8. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that the World bank, being Canada’s creditor has defined a de facto government, in it’s operational policy manual, as being usurped authority as in a coup d├ętente, being a military revolution or abrogation of the constitution. It is further agreed that all the law dictionaries of the world define de facto as being unlawful usurped illegitimate authority as opposed to dejure government which means lawfully formed and ruled.

9. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that the laws in Canada specifically prohibit the act of intimidation to do a thing you have a right to not do and that my faith in Christ cannot be lawfully intimidated..

10. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that I, as a minister of Christ, am officially performing a function of my calling by avoiding the de facto false god registry of the de facto provincial and municipal military style governments as per Exodus 20:3-5 Deuteronomy 4:2;12:32; Matthew 6:24;Acts 5:29; Romans 16:17-20 and Colossians 2:8-22 and by doing so, as Christ directed, practicing my Christian faith unmolested. It is further agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that you now are irrevocably aware it is a violation of God’s commands and my faith as defended by the Queen to submit the property of the church or my property to a de facto registry.

11. It is agreed and understood with no rebuttal to the fact that Section 423 of the Canadian criminal Code applies to all government employee’s as well as sections 15,19,122 126,176 and 180 of that same code.

12. It is agreed and understood with no rebuttal to the fact that you are with the knowledge that ministers of the Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International cannot, as of our faith to follow God's first command as defended by the Queen, register with de facto government entities.

Here is why in the Ontario Justice department's own words.

“6.5 Special situations of religious organizations
Religious organizations should consider certain issues carefully before incorporating. Governing Law
If a religious organization becomes incorporated, its ecclesiastical, canon or church laws, rules or regulations may be subject to the Corporations Act. This means that if any ecclesiastical, canon or church law, rule or regulations conflicts with the Corporations Act, the organization, once incorporated, must comply with the Corporations Act and will no longer be able to use that law, rule or regulation in administering its affairs. “
13.It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that registration with dead de facto regimes requires and contracts to provide servitude. We cannot of our faith submit to de facto regimes as it is our contention and belief as Christian ministers that de facto government’s are false gods and have no de jure authority !

14. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that Jesus never paid tax to Caesar who had declared himself god, but paid Hebrew temple tax with a coin from a fishes mouth equal to one shekel , being the Hebraic covenanted temple tax tribute for two men himself and Peter.

15. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that Paul in Romans 13 says they are ministers of God three times and that any minister of God when asked of the meaning of his oath will immediately know it is to uphold all of God’s laws as per Ezra 7:25-26
You may wish to see the governor General’s website where she admits she is de facto. Our governor General is de facto. That means illegitimate.

Rape is a de facto sexual act. Marital coitus is a dejure sexual act.
They are both sexual acts of identical physical function. One is lawful one is not.

16.It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that a dejure government rules with the Bible or other religious text such as Torah and is lawful as long as no harm befalls the men and women who are subject to that form of government as a result of adding to or taking away from God Jehovah’s law. “Love your brother as yourself” is the golden rule

17. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that these facts are not meant to deceive you but to prove you have been deceived!! Here Michel Jean admits she is Canada’s de facto head of state. are the definitions `from several law dictionaries to ensure we are not confused.

All de facto fiat money is based in flesh as per Talmud and Leviticus 25, read the whole chapter that is defended by the Queen,.

18.It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that the debtor corporation of Canada has been a bankrupt country since 1931 and has had no gold to back the paper money since 1933 when receivership for the creditor, being the world bank, kicked in, and has bonded the men and women in Canada for 8 million dollars a piece and classified the Bonded men and women as sureties for the debt and as fiduciaries for the legal fiction persons(strawmen) created by provincial and federal statute as per the regulations of the Canadian Ownership Control and determination act of 1982 formerly the Foreign Investment Act of 1933 created by the debtor corporation of Canada.

19. It is agreed that legal fictions are creations of law for the convenience of the court and are done with out gaining permission from the one whose name is being monetised.
R.v. Staufen BCSC 2001

20. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that the debtor commercial corporation of Canada assumes a financial interest in such registrant after the applicant has consented to registry and issues a certificate of Birth, drivers licence, property registration, etc. as the birth certificate resulting from such commercial registry proves, having been printed on Canadian Banknote paper reserved under law for security documents and valuable securities such as currency..
Jubilee of Leviticus 25: is supported by the Levitical high priest being Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor the Queen of the Commonwealth.

You may not have researched this, but to one of faith in God’s law, we are to not ignore knowledge. Hosea 4:6

The creditor makes the commercial rules. The World Bank is the Creditor. The World Bank, Canada's commercial creditor, says defacto is usurped power like under military rule! It is unlawful!

Remember they are the corporate Canada’s creditor and they are a private for profit venture owned by Bankers all having the same religious affiliation using Talmud, fraud and usury to quite literally enslave the nations.

Notice how a usurped de facto government is defined. Law at the end of a gun!!!

We also wish to know if you can provide us with the proof as to which legislation of man can abrogate God’s law. Exodus 20:3-5 Numbers 15:15, Deuteronomy 4:2;12:32 Acts 5:29.

19. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that the land which the Rural Municipality of Duck Lake is a legal fiction usurping land that was intended as an Indian reserve that was taken in an unlawful surrender due to fraudulent activities of the minister of Canadian Indian affairs at the time being 1905 a Minister Sifton, and the township land still lawfully belongs to the Indians as caretakers of the land for seven generations as per the treaty with the Queen of 1763.
So, in good faith, we leave you with the Westminster Confession of faith from 1646 section 22. Lawful oaths;. And section 126 from the Canadian criminal code. The Acts? Bills of Exchange Act and the Oaths of Allegiance Act, Royal Styles and Titles Act Statute of Westminster 1931 Confession of Faith Act 1646 and the Coronation Act of 1689 for starters. This act below is from 1778 and the reign of King George the Third and is still on the books as in force law in Canada. Note how it says no tax whatever shall be imposed except for commerce ! Commerce is described as the worldly pursuit of wealth for self gain and enrichment. It is also known ecclesiastically as mammon and Christ for-warned us we cannot serve God and Mammon. Matthew 6:24

20. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that we as men and women of the Christian faith and confession are not commercial entities!

XLIII. ''And whereas by an Act passed in the Eighteenth Year of the Reign (1778) of His late Majesty King George the Third, intituled An Act for removing all Doubts and Apprehensions concerning Taxation by the Parliament of Great Britain in any of the Colonies, Provinces, and Plantations in North America and the West Indies; and for repealing so much of an Act made in the Seventh Year of the Reign of His present Majesty as imposes a Duty on Tea imported from Great Britain into any Colony or Plantation in America, or relating thereto, it was declared, that "the King and Parliament of Great Britain would not impose any Duty, Tax, or Assessment whatever, payable in any of His Majesty's Colonies, Provinces, and Plantations in North America or the West Indies, except only such Duties as it might be expedient to impose for the Regulation of Commerce, the net Produce of such Duties to be always paid and applied to and for the Use of the Colony, Province, or Plantation in which the same shall be respectively levied, in such Manner as other Duties collected by the Authority of the respective General Courts or General Assemblies of such Colonies, Provinces, or Plantations were ordinarily paid and applied:'' And whereas it is necessary, for the General Benefit of the Empire, that such Power of Regulation of Commerce should continue to be exercised by Her Majesty and the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, subject nevertheless to the Conditions hereinbefore recited with respect to the Application of any Duties which may be imposed for that Purpose;'' be it therefore enacted, That nothing in this Act contained shall prevent or affect the Execution of any Law which hath been or shall be made in the Parliament of the said United Kingdom for establishing Regulations and Prohibitions, or for the imposing, levying, or collecting Duties for the Regulation of Navigation, or for the Regulation of the Commerce between the Province of Canada and any other Part of Her Majesty's Dominions, or between the said Province of Canada or any Part thereof and any Foreign Country or Stint, or for appointing and directing the Payment of Drawbacks of such Duties so imposed, or to give to Her Majesty any Power or Authority, by and with the Advice and Consent of such Legislative Council and Assembly of the said Province of Canada, to vary or repeal any such Law or Laws, or any Part thereof, or in any Manner to prevent or obstruct the Execution thereof

Note I make no use of mans laws (Ezekiel 33:6)merely provide them for your benefit to show those laws apply to you when at work for the corporate fiction and not to members of our church. See section 32 of the supreme law of Canada

21.It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that the Coronation Ceremony of Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor declares that the Bible is the Royal rule for the government of Christian princes and the Westminster Confession of faith from 1646 still in force law in Canada has, as the whole purpose of the Monarchy, in defending the Christian faith from covetous actions of vain men of commercially minded gain.

22. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that all de facto authorities are impostors and have no sanction from the Queen to intimidate any man or woman from practicing their Christian faith.

23. It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that if you ignore this good faith ecclesiastical agreement and proceed to intimidate me while in your de facto capacity that you consent to the fact and admit to be actively and irrefutably involved in a conspiracy to violate my faith in the King James Bible!!

24.It is agreed by you with no rebuttal to the fact you consent to pay me 1 million Dollars $1,000,000.00 in Gold Bullion for the damages to my ability to practice my faith unimpeded and that you will, once our agreement is witnessed and published, provide me the name and address of your liability insurance bond agent to pay for damages due to your intimidation should you choose to break the laws and violate your oath.

25. It is agreed understood and with no rebuttal to the fact that the Sikh’s from Quesnel British Columbia sued the RCMP in 1980 and easily recouped $10,000,000.00 for the rejection of one man from RCMP employment as of his faith to wear a turban.

26.It is agreed that the Queen defence of the King James Bible as of oath and duty is decidedly more powerful as standing and defence than the turban.
It is agreed you have seen no prove of any malevolent act from me and hearsay or assumption is not admissible in court.

27.It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that I cannot be forced to violate my faith and register with a false god de facto government!!

Default Notice
It is agreed with no rebuttal to the fact that the anointed of God Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, will act as witness to our agreement along with three other witnesses to confirm our good faith covenant in 20 days time from your receipt of this contractual agreement that will then be advertised posted and circulated to as many as can benefit from it’s honourable position!

Blessings and thank you for honouring the Defence of the Christian Faith


Minister Donald Gordon Friske of the Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crooked Judges nabbed for taking bribes to jail kids!

Judges jailed kids for money

From correspondents in Philadelphia

Reuters. February 13, 2009 09:38am

TWO judges pleaded guilty today to accepting more than $US2.6m ($3.9m) from a private youth detention centre in Pennsylvania in return for giving hundreds of youths and teenagers long sentences.

Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of the Court of Common Pleas in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, entered plea agreements in federal court in Scranton admitting that they took payoffs from PA Childcare and a sister company, Western PA Childcare, between 2003 and 2006.

"Your statement that I have disgraced my judgeship is true," Judge Ciavarella wrote in a letter to the court.

"My actions have destroyed everything I worked to accomplish and I have only myself to blame."

Judge Conahan, who along with Judge Ciavarella faces up to seven years in prison, did not make any comment on the case.

When someone is sent to a detention centre, the company running the facility receives money from the county government to defray the cost of incarceration.

So as more children were sentenced to the detention centre, PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare received more money from the government, prosecutors said.
Teenagers who came before Judge Ciavarella in juvenile court often were sentenced to detention centres for minor offenses that would typically have been classified as misdemeanors, according to the Juvenile Law Center, a Philadelphia nonprofit group.

One 17-year-old boy was sentenced to three months' detention for being in the company of another minor caught shoplifting.

Others were given similar sentences for "simple assault" resulting from a schoolyard scuffle that would normally draw a warning, a spokeswoman for the Juvenile Law Centre said.

The Constitution guarantees the right to legal representation in US courts.

But many of the juveniles appeared before Judge Ciavarella without an attorney because they were told by the probation service that their minor offenses didn't require one.

Marsha Levick, chief counsel for the Juvenile Law Center, estimated that of approximately 5,000 juveniles who came before Ciavarella from 2003 and 2006, between 1000 and 2000 received excessively harsh detention sentences.

She said the centre will sue the judges, PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare for financial compensation for their victims.

"That judges would allow their greed to trump the rights of defendants is just obscene," Ms Levick said.

The judges attempted to hide their income from the scheme by creating false records and routing payments through intermediaries, prosecutors said.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court removed Judge Ciavarella and Judge Conahan from their duties after federal prosecutors filed charges on January 26.

The court has also appointed a judge to review all the cases involved.

Is it antisemetism or anti fraud? Talmud does it respect you???

The Parasite's Dilemma:

The Origin of Talmudism:

"Tell Me Please, British-Israel Identity Foundation Truths":

"An Informed Consensus: An Essay on the Proper Use of the Word, 'Jew'":

"Webster and the Term, 'Jew'":
Global-Judaic origins-Between Testaments.doc Page 3 of 16 28 January 2009

"Misconceptions About Josephus, the Judean":

95 Theses Against the Anti-Christ
(my free ebook, which explains how Judaism violates every law of Moses)

Arsenal of Words
(another fee ebook, documenting how the Talmudic rabbis have invented false definitions of words in order to deceive the masses):

(Arsenal of Words contains much information on the rabbinical technique of INTERPOLATION, which is the technique of redefining words to suit their deceptive purposes, so this is MUST READING for anyone who wishes to understand how the Talmudic rabbis have butchered the Holy Scriptures.)

For a quick summary of the
works of Josephus, please see An Informed Consensus Revisited:

Great reading here!