Untold Secrets of Manzano Underground Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico – – Fact or Fiction?

A Typical UFO Seen Over New Mexico

Untold Secrets of Manzano Underground Base

in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Fact or Fiction?

By Norio Hayakawa

<Edited by Robert D. Morningstar>


The Manzano Underground Base is Reportedly Situated Beneath this Mountain.
This view is the Northeast end of the Manzano underground base with 3 tiers of electric fences, almost right next to the Four Hills community of Albuquerque –
The Manzano base was supposedly totally closed down in 1992.
Photo by Norio Hayakawa


“I’m a lifelong Albuquerque resident.  I appreciate the work you’ve put into researching and uncovering the various mysterious topics you discuss.”

About three years ago, a close relative of mine, a young man, was working a job as a construction laborer with a local firm, which in 2018 was contracted to do work on KAFB.  He worked that job for about three weeks.  At the time, I didn’t pay much attention to what he told me after coming home from work each evening, but a few years later I took much more interest, due to the nature of his descriptions of what he encountered.

The following is an essay I wrote, based on his direct eyewitness testimony, which also includes my attempts to explain, in the form of hypothesizing, the larger purpose of the facility that he visited.  I call this The Able Prime Narrative; at the time it was built, Manzano Base was known as Site Able.

Aerial View of Kirtland Air Force Base & Manzano UB Area

I’ve tightly held onto this information for some time, but am sharing it with you because it’s one of the most astonishing factual tales I’ve yet encountered, and I trust your judgement in regard to what you might do with this information.  As you undoubtedly know, there are many unverifiable, or unreliable, stories that have circulated through the UFO subculture community.  This story is one of the most factual I’ve encountered, due to the veracity of this young man’s testimony.

The facts as described by this young man, who I call The Eyewitness, are in my view entirely trustworthy; he’s too young and naive to have a deep enough understanding of these things to have made them up, nor has he shown any interest in the past with these topics.  My attempts at explaining what this story implies remains my own speculation, and hence is subject to my own errors of judgement; but his account is by my estimation entirely trustworthy.  I’ve also brought a close friend of mine into confidence of this story, who has, together with me, interviewed The Eyewitness and has verified the veracity of his story and lack of any obvious contradictions or counter-factual information that might compromise the story’s integrity.


Able Prime is based on facts, of an actual eyewitness account from a very reputable source, of an apparent underground complex located within the boundaries of Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Able Prime
Photo by Norio Hayakawa, Nov. 17, 2021
This public open space area right next to the fenceline of the base is off-limits to the public after sundown, according to the city ordinance – – Photo by Norio Hayakawa, Nov. 17, 2021)


During the Manhattan Project of WWII, Kirtland Field in Albuquerque, NM was operated by the US Army Air Corp and employed as a point of demarcation for materiel and personnel involved with the build-up of atomic munitions on Tinian Island, in preparation for the atomic bombing raids over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, which directly contributed to the ending of hostilities and unconditional surrender of Japan.

After the war, Z Division of Los Alamos was moved to Kirtland Field and became Sandia Base, a separate entity commanded by a series of US Army and Air Force generals.  The facility rapidly expanded to become the nexus of what is known today as Sandia National Laboratory, the primary center of nuclear weapons development during the Cold War. In 1971, Kirtland Field and Sandia Base were merged into Kirtland AFB.

In the late 1940s a facility began to be constructed inside the mountains on the eastern boundary of Sandia Base that became known as Manzano Base, or Site Able, one of six such sites located around the US built to stockpile the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal.  Site Able was special in that, not only was it the first such site, but it was the primary assembly facility used to construct the early plutonium fission weapons, based on the WWII Fat Man design, known as the Mark 4.  

The FAT MAN Atomic Bomb

During this time, plutonium and uranium weapons components were cast and machined at Los Alamos, delivered to Sandia Base and assembled, along with non-nuclear components from other facilities, in an underground assembly factory in the Manzano Base.

The Mark 4 design was assembled by hand, in kit form, from discrete blocks of high explosive lenses, upto which detonators and other components were added, to form the completed weapon, minus the core itself, which was only inserted into the weapon during final delivery by bomber aircraft to its target. Assembled weapons were stored in the Manzano facility, minus their cores, which were stored in separate, lead-lined “bird cage” containers.

The overall layout of Manzano and Kirtland AFB proper, including the warehouse entrance on the east side of Manzano, the former Boeing Airborne Laser Hangar, and KUMMSC).


During the height of the Cold War, the existence of Manzano Base was a poorly kept secret among the children of base workers.  It was commonly discussed, on the school grounds in northeast Albuquerque, that a “secret” underground base existed in the Four Hills area of southeast Albuquerque, since many of these children had parents who worked either directly in Manzano Base proper, or on Sandia Base.

In 1992, the Kirtland Underground Munitions and Maintenance Storage Complex (KUMMSC) was activated on KAFB, south and west of the old Manzano Base, and has since become the largest repository of nuclear weapons in the US arsenal.  Since then, stories have been published in the local Albuquerque Journal newspaper about Manzano Base, its former purpose, and how it had since become (supposedly) idled and used only for storage of non-nuclear materiel.

The author has become aware of a book called Raven RockThe Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself – – While the Rest of Us Die“, by Garrett M. Graff, written about the history of the NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) facility, located in Cheyenne Mountain, south of Colorado Springs, Colorado, which indicated that during its design phase a nearly identical mock-up facility was built within the Manzano Base complex, southeast of Albuquerque.

The author is also aware of a firsthand account, from a family friend, an independent contractor skilled in computer networks, who claimed to have been working at an underground computer complex “inside the mountain” directly after the events of September 11, 2001, in a supporting role maintaining computer network equipment.

A closer view of Manzano, with the warehouse entrance on the right and the presumed secondary entrance on the left.   The alignment of the walls of the warehouse point directly to the secondary building.   They are about a mile apart.



The Eyewitness was working for a local construction contractor in the 2018 time frame when a job was issued on KAFB.  He and his crew entered the base from the Louisiana Gate, drove east to Wyoming Blvd, then south and east, past the base golf course, to the security entrance of the Manzano Base complex.  

They were directed to drive on a road around the southern edge of the complex, to the eastern side, where they arrived at a warehouse building with a light-blue roof.  The crew parked in the main parking lot, where they were met by security personnel, who told them to leave all cell phones, electronics and cameras in their truck, and fill out a form describing in detail all of the tools and material they would be bringing into the facility.

Immediately across the loop road from this warehouse building is the entrance to Factory 3, one of three such nuclear assembly factories once located in Manzano.

Having complied with the requests, they were escorted into the building through a door on the west-facing side, where they entered an elevator, that was described by The Eyewitness as of a “wire cage” type freight elevator, whose entrance faced west, toward the mountain, and began their descent that lasted for “three to five minutes.”

Once their three to five minute descent was completed, they exited the elevator in a deep underground, concrete-lined facility that extended into the distance toward the west, under the mountain.

The Eyewitness described the feeling of being in the facility as if one were deep underground inside Carlsbad Caverns, and that it felt cold.

Before them was a long, tall, concrete hallway-like structure that extended into the distance.  The walls were made from large sections of rectangular concrete, embedded with a grid of holes.  The ceiling was as high “as if standing on the basketball court of the UNM Pit arena and looking up to the ceiling.”  

The floor of the structure curved gently upward, in an arc, such that the other end of the facility could not be seen.  To the left of the main hallway were a series of rooms that had been built of metal stud framing, that needed interior finishing work completed.  The freight elevator was used to deliver construction materials, tools and supplies from ground level, down into the facility.

The ceiling of the long hallway was described as “corrugated concrete,” similar to the kind of reinforced concrete structures seen under freeway overpass bridges.  Between the ridges of reinforced concrete were brackets extending downward, from which lighting fixtures were attached.  The Eyewitness estimated the height of the hallway as around 50 feet, and the width about 200 feet.

Parked in two neat rows along either side of the hallway were dozens of aircraft, oriented diagonally facing away from the entrance.  The row of aircraft on the left side had wide, flat jet engine exhaust ducts and a pair of canted vertical stabilizers.  They were dark gray, with no markings other than, under the rear horizontal stabilizers, a sequence of 7 or 8 digits, preceded by the “#” (hashtag or pound) symbol.  There was estimated to be 25-30 of these aircraft visible.

Because of his unfamiliarity with military aircraft, the author showed The Eyewitness a series of aircraft images, from which he identified the YF-23 prototype as being the closest to what he observed.

The row of aircraft on the right side of the structure were parked similarly to those on the left, diagonally facing away from the entrance, and were described as being black and triangular.  There appeared to be an equal number of them as the “YF-23“ type, extending into the distance.

In attempting to identify this second type of aircraft, the author showed The Eyewitness images of the F-117 stealth fighter, but he indicated that the type of aircraft he observed were not shaped with flat facets as with the F-117, but instead were smooth and curved, with a central hump that reminded him of images of the B2 stealth bomber, but smaller and with a triangular plan-form.

In each of his visits to this facility that occurred over a period of three weeks, The Eyewitness and his crew worked on the interior finishing of the office-like rooms to the left of the long hallway.  On the last visit, when they were preparing to exit via the elevator, the security personnel informed them of a “security breach,” and directed them to wait by the elevator while other security teams went topside.  After a period of about 30 minutes they were then permitted to depart via the elevator up to ground level, from where they exited the facility and the base.

Another detail described by The Eyewitness was during the elevator rides, they would periodically pass light fixtures in the concrete elevator shaft, visible through the extruded metal sides of the elevator car, implying a series of other floors or levels in the facility.  However, The Eyewitness did not at the time count the number of floors, but his feeling is that it was dozens of floors, at least.


Whatever facilities are currently situated under the Four Hills of Manzano Base, it is assumed the majority were built in the late-1940s and into the ‘50s, prior to the era of aerial surveillance by high-flying aircraft, or satellite surveillance, hence they may yet possess a higher degree of security than newer-built facilities.  Of specific interest to the author is how such a facility operates, given the implication of deep underground aircraft storage requiring access to both hangars and runways.

Fortunately for the researcher, we live in an era of readily accessible satellite imagery.  The author has examined in detail satellite imagery of KAFB, via Google Earth, and has found circumstantial evidence of specific structural alignments, visible from the surface, that imply possible answers to how the Manzano facility functions.


The Eyewitness described the freight elevator, that connects the surface warehouse building to the underground facility, as being orthagonal with the building’s walls.  Underground, the elevator is also orthagonal with the eastern end of the long hallway-like structure.  In addition, The Eyewitness describes the long hallway as extending straight into the distance, away from the elevator toward the northwest, under the mountain.

Using Google Earth, by extending a datum line from the blue-roofed warehouse building in a northwesterly direction, parallel to its east/west axis, the datum line extends about a mile under the mountain to a position adjacent to the western fence-line of the Manzano area, directly under another warehouse-like building.

It is conjectured by the author that this second building serves as a secondary access point, via elevator, to the western end of the facility, perhaps used as an emergency exit, and perhaps also feeding electrical power to the underground facility, as there appears to be a transformer substation located just adjacent to the north side of this building.

The secondary building, a mile west of the primary, does not share its alignment with the datum line, however.  By properly orienting the walls of the secondary building in Google Earth, another datum line can be extended, parallel to that building’s east/west axis, another three miles to the west, where it intersects almost exactly with an aircraft hangar providing direct access to the runway system of KAFB.

This hangar is itself oriented to the main east/west runway of KAFB, and is the only aircraft hangar on this end of the base, and the closest hangar to the Manzano area complex.  This hangar is the (former) Boeing Airborne Laser facility.

Area marked with yellow (not the arrow) is the Boeing Airborne Laser Facility and Hangar area)

The author conjectures that a three mile-long underground taxiway corridor connects the Manzano facility at the east, to the aircraft hangar three miles west, via an aircraft elevator located under the hangar.

Details of the Boeing ABL hangar, and the William B. Davis Advanced Laser facility adjacent to it.  There’s also Pad 4, to the east, where aircraft are loaded with nuclear weapons from KUMMSC, via the curved road below. 
The alignment of the walls of the secondary building in the middle photo point directly to the Boeing ABL hangar.

Comparing elevation data (available from online topographic maps) between the blue-roofed warehouse building at Manzano (5741 feet above MSL) and the Boeing Airborne Laser hangar (5298 feet above MSL), there is an elevation change of 443 feet.  Assuming the aircraft elevator under the Boeing ABL hangar is, say, 50 feet deep, this implies that the facility below Manzano could be 443 + 50 = 493 feet under the mountain, about consistent with a “3 to 5 minute” ride in a slow-moving freight elevator.

Further examination of KAFB satellite imagery reveals the KUMMSC facility, located south of the datum line connecting Manzano and the hangar, to be aligned almost exactly orthogonal to the same datum line, implying a possible other underground connecting corridor to KUMMSC.


A Nuclear Pitchfork?

The existence of a deep underground aircraft facility, verified by a reliable eyewitness, with no obvious access to runway facilities except via an implied underground corridor and elevator, begs multiple questions.

The depth of the facility, deep under a mountainous installation formerly used to protect nuclear weapons from attack, along with the stealth nature of the aircraft types observed, suggests several possibilities.

Given that these aircraft are not publicly known to exist, their location deep under the protection of a mountain may be to warehouse them for some eventual use, perhaps as some clandestine fourth branch of the nuclear triad; a nuclear pitchfork.  Given their location adjacent to, and aligned with, the KUMMSC nuclear weapons repository, perhaps they would be deployed on some long-distance bombing attack, in the event of assumption of hostilities during a nuclear exchange.

Another possibility is that they are being preserved to provide aerial dominance during a post-nuclear war phase, when the conventional air forces might have been decimated during the conflict.

It is also possible they have already been employed in various conventional conflicts.  Consider KAFB itself.  Sharing a common runway with the civilian Albuquerque International Sunport, civilian air traffic all but disappears late into the evening; meanwhile, air traffic over the rest of New Mexico remains scant during the early morning hours after midnight.  This leaves KAFB open for clandestine flights departing and arriving under the cover of darkness, and a cooperative FAA.  Aircraft can depart, fly long distances via aerial refueling, to arrive at their target coordinates halfway across the globe under the cover of nightfall; then return to KAFB under the cover of the next evening, to be sequestered away, deep under the mountain.

Advanced aircraft require constant maintenance in order to be flightworthy.  Hydraulic and engine systems need to be maintained on a regular basis.  Pilots require constant practice, in simulators and actual aircraft, in order for the weapons system to have any utility in warfare.  It is assumed by the author that periodic clandestine flights must be ongoing from the former Boeing ABL hangar on KAFB, and also that other aircraft facilities  (Edwards AFB, Nellis AFB, etc.)  may be used in training and support of these activities.


The suspect hangar that may contain the terminus of an underground aircraft elevator contains no external visual identification, other than an illegible round sign or plaque above its west-facing employee entrance.  There are, however, a number of vehicles parked in the adjacent parking lot, so some current activity is implied.  Adjacent to the hangar is a smaller, more modern appearing building bearing a sign indicating the Richard W. Davis Advanced Laser Facility.  An Internet search yields negative results for the building itself, but its namesake is an important figure in the early history of the Airborne Laser (ABL) Project.  

In the rear of this building are a number of large compressed gas cylinders and liquid chemical containers, indicating the facility seems to support some degree of advanced laser work; but the size of the building seems too small to support such activity.  It is the author’s conjecture that this laser facility may be largely underground.

It is assumed that this aircraft hangar may have supported the early years of the Airborne Laser project, including housing the early test aircraft, but that this project’s later phases may now be based elsewhere, thus leaving the hangar available for other purposes.  In addition, more recent research has involved solid-state lasers, rather than the chemical COIL (carbon dioxide iodine laser) using in the ABL program.


Given the secretive nature of the Manzano facility, and the history of other projects such as the U2 and A12 aircraft programs, the possibility exists that such facilities are not operated by the overt US Air Force itself, but other, more secretive, agencies. Evidence for this comes from The Eyewitness observing that there were no conventional USAF markings on the aircraft he observed in Manzano. It could be operated by some historically consistent agency such as CIA, or more obscure ones.

It is also possible that some hybrid government/private entity may have taken long term control of the facility, representing a privatization of such “Black” projects.

The facility may have been initially constructed decades ago for other purposes.  Evidence of this is suggested by extending a datum line from the blue-roofed building on the east side of the Manzano complex, past the second structure on the west, continuing several miles to the northwest, which intersects directly with the central complex of Sandia National Laboratory.

Given that it was common in the 1950s to build underground bomb shelters, both privately under single family dwellings and publicly, such as under the UNM campus in Albuquerque, it is likely that an underground access-way may have been built to offer secure egress, from the Sandia area to the shelter of the Manzano complex, in the event of nuclear attack by bomber (in the pre-ICBM era).  This initial connective system may have been extended westward at some later date, to the hangar building, perhaps during the time when KUMMSC was being constructed, which would have offered a convenient cover story to explain the large quantities of earth being excavated during the tunnel’s construction, which would have been visible from satellite surveillance.

It is also logical to suggest that such a deeply protected aircraft facility would have had no purpose before the era of advanced stealth aircraft, since their most vulnerable moments are when parked on the tarmac; locating them underground seems to provide a logical solution in keeping with their stealth nature.

Another question I’ve asked myself is: Why Albuquerque?  Why not, say, Area 51, the National Security Site north of Las Vegas, Nevada?  For one, we don’t know there are not also underground aircraft facilities at Area 51, especially considering Papoose Mountain is located just to the west.  But as indicated previously, Manzano was already build years before the era of satellite surveillance, whereas a newer facility in Nevada would have been observed by satellite while being excavated.  So Manzano provides a “legacy” facility ideal for this purpose.

Additionally, so-called “Janet” flights, of 737 charter aircraft, have to ferry personnel each work day to and from the Nevada National Security Site and the Las Vegas airport; these flights are constantly monitored by enthusiast internet watchers and also, it is assumed, foreign governments.  However, with the Manzano facility no such flights of workers are necessary, since the base is adjacent to the middle-sized city of ABQ and workers can merely drive in and out of KAFB proper.


It is not the intent of the author to reveal the existence of secretive facilities merely for the purposes of notoriety or attention-getting.  The facility, at least what has been directly observed by The Eyewitness, does exist.  At this very moment, advanced aircraft, of a type not supposed to exist, do in fact exist, deep under the Four Hills/Manzano Base area of KAFB, four miles from the nearest runway.  Billions of dollars had to have been expended in its construction, and in the aircraft procurement programs involved, without being leaked to the public through congressional oversight.  

Billions of dollars had to have been diverted from other programs to fund these so-called “black programs.” Entire systems must exist in permanence to support such back-channel funding.  Covert organizations must exist, embedded in other, overt ones, to staff and support such activities.  These implications beg further questions, rather than providing any answers.

Yet, secrecy doesn’t always remain secret.  Facilities must be supported, often by local civilian contractors, who are exposed to things they would not ordinarily see.  Word leaks out, things seen in silence are eventually spoken of, often only in whispers.  Such has been the history of the civilian workforce in New Mexico since the early days of the Manhattan Project.

The author is indebted to the work of Trevor Paglen, who inspired the principle that the covert, black world often leaves a shadow, a footprint, in the everyday world we inhabit, offering mere glimpses of something beyond. It is in that spirit that I offer this work.” – The Eyewitness (NAME WITHHELD)

Norio Hayakawa

Albuquerque, NM

November 15th, 2021



Facebook = http://www.facebook.com/fernandon.hayakawa

E-mail = noriohayakawa@gmail.com

Please also watch Norio Hayakawa’s YouTube videos

Mass Killings Under Communist Regimes

Mass Killings Under Communist Regimes

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Mass killings under communist regimes occurred throughout the 20th century. Death estimates vary widely, depending on the definitions of the deaths that are included in them and the political perspectives of those performing such tallies. Estimates account for executions, deaths from man-made and intentional famines, as well as deaths that have occurred during forced labordeportations, or imprisonment.

In addition to mass killings, terms that are used to define such killings include democidepoliticideclassicide, and genocide.


Terminology and usage

See also: Genocide definitions

Several different terms are used to describe the intentional killing of large numbers of noncombatants.[1][a][b][c][d][e] According to Anton Weiss-Wendt, the field of comparative genocide studies has very “little consensus on defining principles such as definition of genocide, typology, application of a comparative method, and timeframe.”[2][f] According to Professor of Economics Attiat Ott, mass killing has emerged as a “more straightforward” term.[g]

The following terminology has been used by individual authors to describe mass killings of unarmed civilians by communist governments, individually or as a whole:

  • Classicide – Professor Michael Mann has proposed classicide to mean the “intended mass killing of entire social classes.”[3][h] Classicide is considered “premeditated mass killing” narrower than genocide in that it targets a part of a population defined by its social status, but broader than politicide in that the group is targeted without regard to their political activity.[4]
  • Crime against humanity – Professor Klas-Göran Karlsson uses crimes against humanity, which includes “the direct mass killings of politically undesirable elements, as well as forced deportations and forced labour.” Karlsson acknowledges that the term may be misleading in the sense that the regimes targeted groups of their own citizens, but he considers it useful as a broad legal term which emphasizes attacks on civilian populations and because the offenses demean humanity as a whole.[5] Historian Jacques Sémelin and Professor Michael Mann[6] believe that crime against humanity is more appropriate than genocide or politicide when speaking of violence by communist regimes.[7] See also: Crimes against humanity under communist regimes.
  • Democide – Professor Rudolph Rummel defined democide as “the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government agents acting in their authoritative capacity and pursuant to government policy or high command.”[8] His definition covers a wide range of deaths, including forced labor and concentration camp victims; killings by “unofficial” private groups; extrajudicial summary killings; and mass deaths due to the governmental acts of criminal omission and neglect, such as in deliberate famines as well as killings by de facto governments, such as warlords or rebels in a civil war.[9][i] This definition covers any murder of any number of persons by any government,[10] and it has been applied to killings that were perpetrated by communist regimes.[11][12]
  • Genocide – Under the Genocide Convention, the crime of genocide generally applies to the mass murder of ethnic rather than political or social groups. The clause which granted protection to political groups was eliminated from the United Nations resolution after a second vote because many states, including the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin,[13][j] feared that it could be used to impose unneeded limitations on their right to suppress internal disturbances.[14][15] Scholarly studies of genocide usually acknowledge the UN’s omission of economic and political groups and use mass political killing datasets of democide and genocide and politicide or geno-politicide.[16] The killings that were committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia has been labeled a genocide or an auto-genocide; and the deaths that occurred under Leninism and Stalinism in the Soviet Union, as well as those that occurred under Maoism in China, have been controversially investigated as possible cases. In particular, the Soviet famine of 1932–1933 and the Great Chinese Famine, which occurred during the Great Leap Forward, have both been “depicted as instances of mass killing underpinned by genocidal intent.”[k]
  • Holocaust – communist holocaust has been used by some state officials and non-governmental organizations.[17][18][19] The similar term red Holocaust—coined by the Munich Institut für Zeitgeschichte[l][20]—has been used by Professor Steven Rosefielde for communist “peacetime state killings,” while stating that it “could be defined to include all murders (judicially sanctioned terror-executions), criminal manslaughter (lethal forced labor and ethnic cleansing), and felonious negligent homicide (terror-starvation) incurred from insurrectionary actions and civil wars prior to state seizure, and all subsequent felonious state killings.”[m] According to Jörg Hackmann, this term is not popular among scholars in Germany or internationally.[l] Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine writes that usage of this term “allows the reality it describes to immediately attain, in the Western mind, a status equal to that of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazi regime.”[n][21] Michael Shafir writes that the use of the term supports the “competitive martyrdom component of Double Genocide“, a theory whose worst version is Holocaust obfuscation.[22] George Voicu states that Leon Volovici has “rightfully condemned the abusive use of this concept as an attempt to ‘usurp’ and undermine a symbol specific to the history of European Jews.”[o]
  • Mass killing – Professor Ervin Staub defined mass killing as “killing members of a group without the intention to eliminate the whole group or killing large numbers of people without a precise definition of group membership. In a mass killing the number of people killed is usually smaller than in genocide.”[23][p] Referencing earlier definitions,[q] Professors Joan Esteban, Massimo Morelli, and Dominic Rohner have defined mass killings as “the killings of substantial numbers of human beings, when not in the course of military action against the military forces of an avowed enemy, under the conditions of the essential defenselessness and helplessness of the victims.”[24] The term has been defined by Professor Benjamin Valentino as “the intentional killing of a massive number of noncombatants”, where a “massive number” is defined as at least 50,000 intentional deaths over the course of five years or less.[25] This is the most accepted quantitative minimum threshold for the term.[24] He applied this definition to the cases of Stalin’s Soviet UnionChina under Mao Zedong and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge while admitting that “mass killings on a smaller scale” also appear to have been carried out by regimes in North KoreaVietnamEastern Europe and various nations in Africa.[26] Alongside Valentino, Jay Ulfelder has used a threshold of 1,000 killed.[r] Alex Bellamy states that 14 of the 38 instances of “mass killing since 1945 perpetrated by non-democratic states outside the context of war” were by communist governments.[s] Professors Frank Wayman and Atsushi Tago used mass killing from Valentino and concluded that even with a lower threshold (10,000 killed per year, 1,000 killed per year, or even 1 killed per year) “autocratic regimes, especially communist, are prone to mass killing generically, but not so strongly inclined (i.e. not statistically significantly inclined) toward geno-politicide.”[t] According to Attiat F. Ott and Sang Hoo Bae, there is a general consensus that mass killing constitutes the act of intentionally killing a number of non-combatants, but that number can range from as few as four to more than 50,000 people.[27] Yang Su used a definition of mass killing from Valentino but allows as a “significant number” more than 10 killed in one day in one town.[u] He used collective killing for analysis of mass killing in areas smaller than a whole country that may not meet Valentino’s threshold.[v]
  • Politicide – the term is used to describe the killing of groups that would not otherwise be covered by the Genocide Convention.[28][j] Professor Barbara Harff studies genocide and politicide—sometimes shortened as geno-politicide—in order to include the killing of political, economic, ethnic and cultural groups.[w] Professor Manus I. Midlarsky uses politicide to describe an arc of large-scale killing from the western parts of the Soviet Union to China and Cambodia.[x] In his book The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Midlarsky raises similarities between the killings of Stalin and Pol Pot.[29]
  • Repression – Professor Stephen Wheatcroft comments that in the case of the Soviet Union terms such as the terrorthe purges, and repression are used to refer to the same events. He believes the most neutral terms are repression and mass killings, although in Russian the broad concept of repression is commonly held to include mass killings and it is sometimes assumed to be synonymous with it, which is not the case in other languages.[30]


According to professor of history Klas-Göran Karlsson, discussion of the number of victims of communist regimes has been “extremely extensive and ideologically biased.”[31] Political scientist Rudolph Rummel and historian Mark Bradley have written that, while the exact numbers have been in dispute, the order of magnitude is not.[y][z] Rummel and other genocide scholars are focused primarily on establishing patterns and testing various theoretical explanations of genocides and mass killings. In their work, as they are dealing with large data sets that describe mass mortality events globally, they have to rely on selective data provided by country experts, so precise estimates are neither a required nor expected result of their work.[32]

Any attempt to estimate a total number of killings under communist regimes depends greatly on definitions, and the idea to group together different countries such as Afghanistan and Hungary has no adequate explanation.[33] During the Cold War era, some authors (Todd Culberston), dissidents (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn), and anti-communists in general have attempted to make both country-specific and global estimates, although they were mostly unreliable and inflated, as shown by the 1990s and beyond. Scholars of communism have mainly focused on individual countries, and genocide scholars have attempted to provide a more global perspective, while maintaining that their goal is not reliability but establishing patterns.[32] Scholars of communism have debated on estimates for the Soviet Union, not for all communist regimes, an attempt which was popularized by the introduction to The Black Book of Communism and was controversial.[33] Among them, Soviet specialists Michael Ellman and J. Arch Getty have criticized the estimates for relying on émigre sources, hearsay, and rumor as evidence,[34] and cautioned that historians should instead utilize archive material.[35] Such scholars distinguish between historians who base their research on archive materials, and those whose estimates are based on witnesses evidence and other data that is unreliable.[36] Soviet specialist Stephen G. Wheatcroft says that historians relied on Solzhenitsyn to support their higher estimates but research in the state archives vindicated the lower estimates, while adding that the popular press has continued to include serious errors that should not be cited, or relied on, in academia.[37] Rummel was also another widely used and cited source[aa] but not reliable about estimates.[32]

Notable estimate attempts include the following:[aa]

  • In 1978, journalist Todd Culbertson wrote an article in The Richmond News Leader, republished in Human Events, in which he stated that “[a]vailable evidence indicates that perhaps 100 million persons have been destroyed by the Communists; the imperviousness of the Iron and Bamboo curtains prevents a more definitive figure.”[ab][aa]
  • In 1985, John Lenczowski, director of European and Soviet Affairs at the United States National Security Council, wrote an article in The Christian Science Monitor in which he stated that the “number of people murdered by communist regimes is estimated at between 60 million and 150 million, with the higher figure probably more accurate in light of recent scholarship.”[ac]
  • In 1993, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, wrote that “the failed effort to build communism in the twentieth century consumed the lives of almost 60,000,000.”[38][aa][ad]
  • In 1994, Rummel’s book Death by Government included about 110 million people, foreign and domestic, killed by communist democide from 1900 to 1987.[39] This total did not include deaths from the Great Chinese Famine of 1958–1961 due to Rummel’s then belief that “although Mao’s policies were responsible for the famine, he was mislead about it, and finally when he found out, he stopped it and changed his policies.”[40][41] In 2004, historian Tomislav Dulić criticized Rummel’s estimate of the number killed in Tito’s Yugoslavia as an overestimation based on the inclusion of low-quality sources, and stated that Rummel’s other estimates may suffer from the same problem if he used similar sources for them.[42] Rummel responded with a critique of Dulić’s analysis[43] but was not convincing.[44] In 2005, a retired Rummel revised upward his total for communist democide between 1900 and 1999 from 110 million to about 148 million due to additional information about Mao’s culpability in the Great Chinese Famine from Mao: The Unknown Story, including Jon Halliday and Jung Chang‘s estimated 38 million famine deaths.[40][41] Karlsson describes Rummel’s estimates as being on the fringe, stating that “they are hardly an example of a serious and empirically-based writing of history”, and mainly discusses them “on the basis of the interest in him in the blogosphere.”[45]
  • In 1997, historian Stéphane Courtois‘s introduction to The Black Book of Communism, an impactful yet controversial[33] work written about the history of communism in the 20th century,[46] gave a “rough approximation, based on unofficial estimates” approaching 100 million killed. The subtotals listed by Courtois added up to 94.36 million killed.[ae] Nicolas Werth and Jean-Louis Margolin, contributing authors to the book, criticized Courtois as obsessed with reaching a 100 million overall total.[47] In his foreword to the 1999 English edition, Martin Malia wrote that “a grand total of victims variously estimated by contributors to the volume at between 85 million and 100 million.”[af] Courtois’ attempt to equate Nazism and communist regimes was controversial, and remains on the fringes, on both scientific and moral grounds.[48][ag]
  • In 2005, associate professor Benjamin Valentino stated that the number of non-combatants killed by communist regimes in the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia alone ranged from a low of 21 million to a high of 70 million.[ah][ai] Citing Rummel and others,[aa] Valentino wrote that the “highest end of the plausible range of deaths attributed to communist regimes” was up to 110 million.”[ah]
  • In 2010, professor of economics Steven Rosefielde wrote in Red Holocaust that the internal contradictions of communist regimes caused the killing of approximately 60 million people and perhaps tens of millions more.[49]
  • In 2011, self-described atrocitiologist Matthew White published his rough total of 70 million “people who died under communist regimes from execution, labor camps, famine, ethnic cleansing, and desperate flight in leaky boats”, not counting those killed in wars.[aj]
  • In 2012, academic Alex J. Bellamy wrote that a “conservative estimate puts the total number of civilians deliberately killed by communists after the Second World War between 6.7 million and 15.5 million people, with the true figure probably much higher.”[ak]
  • In 2014, professor of Chinese politics Julia Strauss wrote that while there was the beginning of a scholarly consensus on figures of around 20 million killed in the Soviet Union and 2–3 million in Cambodia, there was no such consensus on numbers for China.[al]
  • In 2016, the Dissident blog of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation made an effort to compile ranges of estimates using sources from 1976 to 2010, and wrote that the overall range “spans from 42,870,000 to 161,990,000” killed, with 100 million the most commonly cited figure.[am]
  • In 2017, historian Stephen Kotkin wrote in The Wall Street Journal that communist regimes killed at least 65 million people between 1917 and 2017, commenting: “Though communism has killed huge numbers of people intentionally, even more of its victims have died from starvation as a result of its cruel projects of social engineering.”[50][an]

Criticism is mostly focused on three aspects, namely that the estimates are based on sparse and incomplete data when significant errors are inevitable,[51][52][53] the figures are skewed to higher possible values,[51][54][ao] and victims of civil wars, Holodomor, and other famines, and wars involving communist governments should not be counted.[51][55][56] Criticism of the high-end estimates such as Rummel’s have focused on two aspects, namely his choice of data sources and his statistical approach. Historical sources Rummel based his estimates upon can rarely serve as sources of reliable figures.[57] The statistical approach Rummel used to analyze big sets of diverse estimates may lead to dilution of useful data with noisy ones.[57][58]

Another common criticism, as articulated by anthropologist and former European communist regimes specialist Kristen Ghodsee and other scholars, is that the body-counting reflects an anti-communist point of view and is mainly approached by anti-communist scholars, and is part of the popular “victims of communism” narrative,[59][60] with 100 million being the most common, popularly used estimate,[61][ap] which is used not only to discredit the communist movement but the whole political left.[62][aq] Anti-communist organizations seek to institutionalize the “victims of communism” narrative as a double genocide theory, or the moral equivalence between the Nazi Holocaust (race murder) and those killed by communist regimes (class murder).[59][63] Alongside philosopher Scott Sehon, Ghodsee wrote that “quibbling about numbers is unseemly. What matters is that many, many people were killed by communist regimes.”[63] The same body-counting can be easily applied to other ideologies or systems, such as capitalism.[61][ar][63][as]

Proposed causes

Main article: Criticism of communist party rule


Klas-Göran Karlsson writes: “Ideologies are systems of ideas, which cannot commit crimes independently. However, individuals, collectives and states that have defined themselves as communist have committed crimes in the name of communist ideology, or without naming communism as the direct source of motivation for their crimes.”[64] Academics such as Daniel Goldhagen,[65] Richard Pipes,[66] and John Gray[67] have written books about communist regimes for a popular audience, and scholars such as Rudolph Rummel consider the ideology of communism to be a significant causative factor in mass killings.[51][68] In the introduction to The Black Book of CommunismStéphane Courtois claims an association between communism and criminality, stating that “Communist regimes … turned mass crime into a full-blown system of government”,[69] while adding that this criminality lies at the level of ideology rather than state practice.[70]The last issue, printed in red ink, of Karl Marx’s journal Neue Rheinische Zeitung from 19 May 1849

Professor Mark Bradley writes that communist theory and practice has often been in tension with human rights and most communist states followed the lead of Karl Marx in rejecting “Enlightenment-era inalienable individual political and civil rights” in favor of “collective economic and social rights.”[z] Christopher J. Finlay posits that Marxism legitimates violence without any clear limiting principle because it rejects moral and ethical norms as constructs of the dominant class, and states that “it would be conceivable for revolutionaries to commit atrocious crimes in bringing about a socialist system, with the belief that their crimes will be retroactively absolved by the new system of ethics put in place by the proletariat.”[at] Rustam Singh states that Marx had alluded to the possibility of peaceful revolution; after the failed Revolutions of 1848, Singh states that Marx emphasized the need for violent revolution and revolutionary terror.[au]

Literary historian George Watson cited an 1849 article written by Friedrich Engels called “The Hungarian Struggle” and published in Marx’s journal Neue Rheinische Zeitung, stating that the writings of Engels and others show that “the Marxist theory of history required and demanded genocide for reasons implicit in its claim that feudalism, which in advanced nations was already giving place to capitalism, must in its turn be superseded by socialism. Entire nations would be left behind after a workers’ revolution, feudal remnants in a socialist age, and since they could not advance two steps at a time, they would have to be killed. They were racial trash, as Engels called them, and fit only for the dung-heap of history.”[71][av] Watson’s claims have been criticized for dubious evidence by Robert Grant, who commented that “what Marx and Engels are calling for is … at the very least a kind of cultural genocide; but it is not obvious, at least from Watson’s citations, that actual mass killing, rather than (to use their phraseology) mere ‘absorption’ or ‘assimilation’, is in question.”[72] Talking about Engels’ 1849 article, historian Andrzej Walicki states: “It is difficult to deny that this was an outright call for genocide.”[73] Jean-François Revel writes that Joseph Stalin recommended study of the 1849 Engels article in his 1924 book On Lenin and Leninism.[aw]

According to Rummel, the killings committed by communist regimes can best be explained as the result of the marriage between absolute power and the absolutist ideology of Marxism.[74] Rummel states that “communism was like a fanatical religion. It had its revealed text and its chief interpreters. It had its priests and their ritualistic prose with all the answers. It had a heaven, and the proper behavior to reach it. It had its appeal to faith. And it had its crusades against nonbelievers. What made this secular religion so utterly lethal was its seizure of all the state’s instruments of force and coercion and their immediate use to destroy or control all independent sources of power, such as the church, the professions, private businesses, schools, and the family.”[75] Rummels writes that Marxist communists saw the construction of their utopia as “though a war on poverty, exploitation, imperialism and inequality. And for the greater good, as in a real war, people are killed. And, thus, this war for the communist utopia had its necessary enemy casualties, the clergy, bourgeoisie, capitalists, wreckers, counterrevolutionaries, rightists, tyrants, rich, landlords, and noncombatants that unfortunately got caught in the battle. In a war millions may die, but the cause may be well justified, as in the defeat of Hitler and an utterly racist Nazism. And to many communists, the cause of a communist utopia was such as to justify all the deaths.”[74]

Benjamin Valentino writes that “apparently high levels of political support for murderous regimes and leaders should not automatically be equated with support for mass killing itself. Individuals are capable of supporting violent regimes or leaders while remaining indifferent or even opposed to specific policies that these regimes and carried out.” Valentino quotes Vladimir Brovkin as saying that “a vote for the Bolsheviks in 1917 was not a vote for Red Terror or even a vote for a dictatorship of the proletariat.”[76] According to Valentino, such strategies were so violent because they economically dispossess large numbers of people,[ax][s] commenting: “Social transformations of this speed and magnitude have been associated with mass killing for two primary reasons. First, the massive social dislocations produced by such changes have often led to economic collapseepidemics, and, most important, widespread famines. … The second reason that communist regimes bent on the radical transformation of society have been linked to mass killing is that the revolutionary changes they have pursued have clashed inexorably with the fundamental interests of large segments of their populations. Few people have proved willing to accept such far-reaching sacrifices without intense levels of coercion.”[77] According to Jacques Sémelin, “communist systems emerging in the twentieth century ended up destroying their own populations, not because they planned to annihilate them as such, but because they aimed to restructure the ‘social body’ from top to bottom, even if that meant purging it and recarving it to suit their new Promethean political imaginaire.[ay]

Daniel Chirot and Clark McCauley write that, especially in Joseph Stalin‘s Soviet Union, Mao Zedong‘s China, and Pol Pot‘s Cambodia, a fanatical certainty that socialism could be made to work motivated communist leaders in “the ruthless dehumanization of their enemies, who could be suppressed because they were ‘objectively’ and ‘historically’ wrong. Furthermore, if events did not work out as they were supposed to, then that was because class enemies, foreign spies and saboteurs, or worst of all, internal traitors were wrecking the plan. Under no circumstances could it be admitted that the vision itself might be unworkable, because that meant capitulation to the forces of reaction.”[az] Michael Mann writes that communist party members were “ideologically driven, believing that in order to create a new socialist society, they must lead in socialist zeal. Killings were often popular, the rank-and-file as keen to exceed killing quotas as production quotas.”[ba] According to Vladimir Tismăneanu, “the Communist project, in such countries as the USSR, China, Cuba, Romania, or Albania, was based precisely on the conviction that certain social groups were irretrievably alien and deservedly murdered.”[bb] Alex Bellamy writes that “communism’s ideology of selective extermination” of target groups was first developed and applied by Joseph Stalin but that “each of the communist regimes that massacred large numbers of civilians during the Cold War developed their own distinctive account”,[bc] while Steven T. Katz states that distinctions based on class and nationality, stigmatized and stereotyped in various ways, created an “otherness” for victims of communist rule that was important for legitimating oppression and death.[bd] Martin Shaw writes that “nationalist ideas were at the heart of many mass killings by Communist states”, beginning with Stalin’s “new nationalist doctrine of ‘socialism in one country'”, and killing by revolutionary movements in the Third World was done in the name of national liberation.[be]

Political system

Prosecutor General Andrey Vyshinsky (centre) reading the 1937 indictment against Karl Radek during the second Moscow Trial

Anne Applebaum writes that “without exception, the Leninist belief in the one-party state was and is characteristic of every communist regime” and “the Bolshevik use of violence was repeated in every communist revolution.” Phrases said by Vladimir Lenin and Cheka founder Felix Dzerzhinsky were deployed all over the world. Applebaum states that as late as 1976, Mengistu Haile Mariam unleashed a Red Terror in Ethiopia.[78] To his colleagues in the Bolshevik government, Lenin was quoted as saying: “If we are not ready to shoot a saboteur and White Guardist, what sort of revolution is that?”[79]

Robert Conquest stressed that Stalin’s purges were not contrary to the principles of Leninism but rather a natural consequence of the system established by Lenin, who personally ordered the killing of local groups of class enemy hostages.[80] Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev, architect of perestroika and glasnost and later head of the Presidential Commission for the Victims of Political Repression, elaborates on this point, stating: “The truth is that in punitive operations Stalin did not think up anything that was not there under Lenin: executions, hostage taking, concentration camps, and all the rest.”[81] Historian Robert Gellately concurs, commenting: “To put it another way, Stalin initiated very little that Lenin had not already introduced or previewed.”[82]

Stephen Hicks of Rockford College ascribes the violence characteristic of 20th-century socialist rule to these collectivist regimes’ abandonment of protections of civil rights and rejection of the values of civil society. Hicks writes that whereas “in practice every liberal capitalist country has a solid record for being humane, for by and large respecting rights and freedoms, and for making it possible for people to put together fruitful and meaningful lives”, in socialism “practice has time and again proved itself more brutal than the worst dictatorships prior to the twentieth century. Each socialist regime has collapsed into dictatorship and begun killing people on a huge scale.”[83][undue weight? – discuss]

Eric D. Weitz says that the mass killing in communist states is a natural consequence of the failure of the rule of law, seen commonly during periods of social upheaval in the 20th century. For both communist and non-communist mass killings, “genocides occurred at moments of extreme social crisis, often generated by the very policies of the regimes”,[84] and are not inevitable but are political decisions.[84] Steven Rosefielde writes that communist rulers had to choose between changing course and “terror-command” and more often than not chose the latter.[bf] Michael Mann posits that a lack of institutionalized authority structures meant that a chaotic mix of both centralized control and party factionalism were factors in the killing.[ba]


Professor Matthew Krain states that many scholars have pointed to revolutions and civil wars as providing the opportunity for radical leaders and ideologies to gain power and the preconditions for mass killing by the state.[bg] Professor Nam Kyu Kim writes that exclusionary ideologies are critical to explaining mass killing, but the organizational capabilities and individual characteristics of revolutionary leaders, including their attitudes towards risk and violence, are also important. Besides opening up political opportunities for new leaders to eliminate their political opponents, revolutions bring to power leaders who are more apt to commit large-scale acts of violence against civilians in order to legitimize and strengthen their own power.[85] Genocide scholar Adam Jones states that the Russian Civil War was very influential on the emergence of leaders like Stalin and it also accustomed people to “harshness, cruelty, terror.”[bh] Martin Malia called the “brutal conditioning” of the two World Wars important to understanding communist violence, although not its source.[86]

Historian Helen Rappaport describes Nikolay Yezhov, the bureaucrat who was in charge of the NKVD during the Great Purge, as a physically diminutive figure of “limited intelligence” and “narrow political understanding. … Like other instigators of mass murder throughout history, [he] compensated for his lack of physical stature with a pathological cruelty and the use of brute terror.”[87] Russian and world history scholar John M. Thompson places personal responsibility directly on Joseph Stalin. According to him, “much of what occurred only makes sense if it stemmed in part from the disturbed mentality, pathological cruelty, and extreme paranoia of Stalin himself. Insecure, despite having established a dictatorship over the party and country, hostile and defensive when confronted with criticism of the excesses of collectivization and the sacrifices required by high-tempo industrialization, and deeply suspicious that past, present, and even yet unknown future opponents were plotting against him, Stalin began to act as a person beleaguered. He soon struck back at enemies, real or imaginary.”[88] Professors Pablo Montagnes and Stephane Wolton posit that the purges in the Soviet Union and China can be attributed to the personalist leadership of Stalin and Mao, who were incentivized by having both control of the security apparatus used to carry out the purges and control of the appointment of replacements for those purged.[bi] Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek attributes Mao allegedly viewing human life as disposable to his “cosmic perspective” on humanity.[bj]

Soviet Union

Main article: Political repression in the Soviet UnionSign for the Solovetsky Stone, a memorial about repression in the Soviet Union at Lubyanka Square which was erected in 1990 by the human rights group Memorial in remembrance of the more than 40,000 innocent people shot in Moscow during the Great Terror

Adam Jones writes that “there is very little in the record of human experience to match the violence which was unleashed between 1917, when the Bolsheviks took power, and 1953, when Joseph Stalin died and the Soviet Union moved to adopt a more restrained and largely non-murderous domestic policy.” Jones states that the exceptions to this were the Khmer Rouge (in relative terms) and Mao’s rule in China (in absolute terms).[89]

Stephen G. Wheatcroft says that prior to the opening of the Soviet archives for historical research, “our understanding of the scale and the nature of Soviet repression has been extremely poor” and that some scholars who wish to maintain pre-1991 high estimates are “finding it difficult to adapt to the new circumstances when the archives are open and when there are plenty of irrefutable data”, and instead “hang on to their old Sovietological methods with round-about calculations based on odd statements from emigres and other informants who are supposed to have superior knowledge”, although he acknowledged that even the figures estimated from the additional documents are not “final or definitive.”[90][91] In the 2007 revision of his book The Great Terror, Robert Conquest estimates that while exact numbers will never be certain, the communist leaders of the Soviet Union were responsible for no fewer than 15 million deaths.[bk]

Some historians attempt to make separate estimates for different periods of Soviet history, with casualty estimates varying widely. Timothy D. Snyder estimates 6 million for the Stalinist period.[92] Alec Nove estimates 8.1 million for the period ending in 1937.[93] Stéphane Courtois estimates 20 million[69] and Alexander Yakovlev estimates 20-25 million for the entire period of Soviet rule.[bl] Rudolph Rummel estimates 61 million for the 1917–1987 period.[94]

Red Terror

See also: DecossackizationExecution of the Romanov familyRed TerrorTambov Rebellion, and Vladimir Lenin’s Hanging Order

The Red Terror was a period of political repression and executions carried out by Bolsheviks after the beginning of the Russian Civil War in 1918. During this period, the political police (the Cheka) conducted summary executions of tens of thousands of “enemies of the people.”[95][96][97][98][99] Many victims were “bourgeois hostages” rounded up and held in readiness for summary execution in reprisal for any alleged counter-revolutionary provocation.[100] Many were put to death during and after the suppression of revolts, such as the Kronstadt rebellion of Baltic Fleet sailors and the Tambov Rebellion of Russian peasants. Professor Donald Rayfield writes that “the repression that followed the rebellions in Kronstadt and Tambov alone resulted in tens of thousands of executions.”[101] A large number of Orthodox clergymen were also killed.[102][103]

According to Nicolas Werth, the policy of decossackization amounted to an attempt by Soviet leaders to “eliminate, exterminate, and deport the population of a whole territory.”[104] In the early months of 1919, perhaps 10,000 to 12,000 Cossacks were executed[105][106] and many more deported after their villages were razed to the ground.[107] Historian Michael Kort wrote: “During 1919 and 1920, out of a population of approximately 1.5 million Don Cossacks, the Bolshevik regime killed or deported an estimated 300,000 to 500,000.”[108]

Joseph Stalin

Main article: Excess mortality in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin

Estimates of the number of deaths which were brought about by Stalin’s rule are hotly debated by scholars in the fields of Soviet and Communist studies.[109][110] Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the archival revelations which followed it, some historians estimated that the number of people who were killed by Stalin’s regime was 20 million or higher.[92][111][112] Michael Parenti writes that estimates on the Stalinist death toll vary widely in part because such estimates are based on anecdotes in absence of reliable evidence and “speculations by writers who never reveal how they arrive at such figures.”[113]

After the Soviet Union dissolved, evidence from the Soviet archives became available, containing official records of the execution of approximately 800,000 prisoners under Stalin for either political or criminal offenses, around 1.7 million deaths in the Gulags and some 390,000 deaths which occurred during kulak forced settlements in the Soviet Union, for a total of about 3 million officially recorded victims in these categories.[bm] According to Golfo Alexopoulos, Anne ApplebaumOleg Khlevniuk, and Michael Ellman, official Soviet documentation of Gulag deaths is widely considered inadequate, as they write that the government frequently released prisoners on the edge of death in order to avoid officially counting them.[114][115] A 1993 study of archival data by J. Arch Getty et al. showed that a total of 1,053,829 people died in the Gulag from 1934 to 1953.[116] In 2010, Steven Rosefielde posited that this number has to be augmented by 19.4 percent in light of more complete archival evidence to 1,258,537, with the best estimate of Gulag deaths being 1.6 million from 1929 to 1953 when excess mortality is taken into account.[117] Alexopolous estimates a much higher total of at least 6 million dying in the Gulag or shortly after release.[118] Dan Healey has called her work a “challenge to the emergent scholarly consensus”,[bn] while Jeffrey Hardy has criticized Alexopoulos for basing her assertions primarily on indirect and misinterpreted evidence.[119]

According to historian Stephen G. Wheatcroft, Stalin’s regime can be charged with causing the purposive deaths of about a million people.[120] Wheatcroft excludes all famine deaths as purposive deaths and posits that those which qualify fit more closely the category of execution rather than murder.[120] Others posit that some of the actions of Stalin’s regime, not only those during the Holodomor but also dekulakization and targeted campaigns against particular ethnic groups, such as the Polish operation of the NKVD, can be considered as genocide[121][122] at least in its loose definition.[123] Modern data for the whole of Stalin’s rule was summarized by Timothy Snyder, who stated that under the Stalinist regime there were six million direct deaths and nine million in total, including the deaths from deportation, hunger, and Gulag deaths.[bo] Ellman attributes roughly 3 million deaths to the Stalinist regime, excluding excess mortality from famine, disease, and war.[124] Several popular press authors, among them Stalin biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore, Soviet/Russian historian Dmitri Volkogonov, and the director of Yale‘s “Annals of Communism” series Jonathan Brent, still put the death toll from Stalin at about 20 million.[bp][bq][br][bs][bt]

Mass deportations of ethnic minorities

Main article: Population transfer in the Soviet UnionSoviet leader Joseph Stalin and Lavrenti Beria (in the foreground), who was responsible for mass deportations of ethnic minorities as head of the NKVD

The Soviet government during Stalin’s rule conducted a series of deportations on an enormous scale that significantly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union. Deportations took place under extremely harsh conditions, often in cattle carriages, with hundreds of thousands of deportees dying en route.[125] Some experts estimate that the proportion of deaths from the deportations could be as high as one in three in certain cases.[bu][126] Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent who initiated the Genocide Convention in 1948 and coined genocide, assumed that genocide was perpetrated in the context of the mass deportation of the ChechensIngush peopleVolga GermansCrimean TatarsKalmyks, and Karachays.[127]

Regarding the fate of the Crimean Tatars, Amir Weiner of Stanford University writes that the policy could be classified as ethnic cleansing. In the book Century of Genocide, Lyman H. Legters writes: “We cannot properly speak of a completed genocide, only of a process that was genocidal in its potentiality.”[128] In contrast to this view, Jon K. Chang posits that the deportations had been in fact based on genocides based on ethnicity and that “social historians” in the West have failed to champion the rights of marginalized ethnicities in the Soviet Union.[129] This view is supported by several countries. On 12 December 2015, the Ukrainian Parliament issued a resolution recognizing the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars (the Sürgünlik) as genocide and established the 18th of May as the Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Crimean Tatar Genocide.[130] The Parliament of Latvia recognized the event as an act of genocide on 9 May 2019.[131][132] The Parliament of Lithuania did the same on 6 June 2019.[133] The Parliament of Canada passed a motion on 10 June 2019, recognizing the Crimean Tatar deportation as a genocide perpetrated by Soviet dictator Stalin, designating the 18th of May to be a day of remembrance.[134] The deportation of Chechens and Ingush was acknowledged by the European Parliament as an act of genocide in 2004, stating:[135] “Believes that the deportation of the entire Chechen people to Central Asia on 23 February 1944 on the orders of Stalin constitutes an act of genocide within the meaning of the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907 and the Convention for the Prevention and Repression of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948.”[136]

Soviet famine of 1932–1933

Main article: Soviet famine of 1932–1933See also: Collectivization in the Soviet UnionDekulakizationHolodomorHolodomor genocide question, and Kazakh famine of 1931–1933

Within the Soviet Union, forced changes in agricultural policies (collectivization), confiscations of grain and droughts caused the Soviet famine of 1932–1933 in the Ukrainian SSR (Holodomor), North Caucasus KraiVolga region, and Kazakh SSR.[137][138][139] The famine was most severe in Ukrainian, where it is often referenced as the Holodomor. A significant portion of the famine victims (3.3 to 7.5 million) were Ukrainians.[140][141][142] Another part of the famine was that in Kazakhstan, also known as the Kazakh catastrophe, when more than 1.3 million ethnic Kazakhs (about 38% of the population) died.[143][144]

While there is still a debate among scholars on whether the Holodomor was a genocide, some scholars say the Stalinist policies that caused the famine may have been designed as an attack on the rise of Ukrainian nationalism[145] and may fall under the legal definition of genocide by the United Nations‘s Genocide Convention.[137][146][147][148] The famine was officially recognized as genocide by the Ukraine and other governments.[149][bv] In a draft resolution, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe declared that the famine was caused by the “cruel and deliberate actions and policies of the Soviet regime” and was responsible for the deaths of “millions of innocent people” in Ukraine, BelarusKazakhstanMoldova, and Russia. Relative to its population, Kazakhstan is believed to have been the most adversely affected.[150] Regarding the Kazakh famine, Michael Ellman states that it “seems to be an example of ‘negligent genocide’ which falls outside the scope of the UN Convention of genocide.”[151]

Great Purge

Main article: Great PurgeSee also: Mass graves from Soviet mass executionsMass operations of the NKVD, and Stalinist repressions in MongoliaMass graves dating from 1937–1938 opened up and hundreds of bodies exhumed for identification by family members[152]

Stalin’s attempts to solidify his position as leader of the Soviet Union led to an escalation of detentions and executions, climaxing in 1937–1938, a period sometimes referred to as the Yezhovshchina’ after Cheka official Nikolay Yezhov, or Yezhov era, and continuing until Stalin’s death in 1953. Around 700,000 of these were executed by a gunshot to the back of the head.[153] Others perished from beatings and torture while in “investigative custody”[154] and in the Gulag due to starvation, disease, exposure, and overwork.[bw]

Arrests were typically made citing Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code) about counter-revolutionary laws, which included failure to report treasonous actions and in an amendment added in 1937 failing to fulfill one’s appointed duties. In the cases investigated by the State Security Department of the NKVD from October 1936 to November 1938, at least 1,710,000 people were arrested and 724,000 people executed.[155] Modern historical studies estimate a total number of repression deaths during 1937–1938 as 950,000–1,200,000. These figures take into account the incompleteness of official archival data and include both execution deaths and Gulag deaths during that period.[bw] Former kulaks and their families made up the majority of victims, with 669,929 people arrested and 376,202 executed.[156]

The NKVD conducted a series of national operations which targeted some ethnic groups.[157] A total of 350,000 were arrested and 247,157 were executed.[158] Of these, the Polish operation of the NKVD, which targeted the members of Polska Organizacja Wojskowa, appears to have been the largest, with 140,000 arrests and 111,000 executions.[157] Although these operations might well constitute genocide as defined by the United Nations convention,[157] or “a mini-genocide” according to Simon Sebag Montefiore,[158] there is as yet no authoritative ruling on the legal characterization of these events.[123] Citing church documents, Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev has estimated that over 100,000 priests, monks, and nuns were executed during this time.[159][160] Regarding the persecution of clergy, Michael Ellman has stated that “the 1937–38 terror against the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church and of other religions (Binner & Junge 2004) might also qualify as genocide.”[161] In the summer and autumn of 1937, Stalin sent NKVD agents to the Mongolian People’s Republic and engineered a Mongolian Great Terror[162] in which some 22,000[163] or 35,000[164] people were executed. Around 18,000 victims were Buddhist lamas.[163] In Belarus, mass graves for several thousand civilians killed by the NKVD between 1937 and 1941 were discovered in 1988 at Kurapaty.[165]

Soviet killings during World War II

Main article: Soviet war crimesSee also: Katyn massacreNKVD prisoner massacresOccupation of the Baltic states, and Soviet repressions of Polish citizens (1939–1946)

Following the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, NKVD task forces started removing “Soviet-hostile elements” from the conquered territories.[166] The NKVD systematically practiced torture which often resulted in death.[167][168] According to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, 150,000 Polish citizens perished due to Soviet repression during the war.[169][170] The most notorious killings occurred in the spring of 1940, when the NKVD executed some 21,857 Polish POWs and intellectual leaders in what has become known as the Katyn massacre.[171][172][173] Executions were also carried out after the annexation of the Baltic states.[174] During the initial phases of Operation Barbarossa, the NKVD and attached units of the Red Army massacred prisoners and political opponents by the tens of thousands before fleeing from the advancing Axis powers forces.[175] Memorial complexes have been built at NKVD execution sites at Katyn and Mednoye in Russia, as well as a “third killing field” at Piatykhatky, Ukraine.[176]

People’s Republic of China

Main article: History of the People’s Republic of China (1949–1976)See also: Chinese Civil WarList of massacres in China, and Mass killings of landlords under Mao ZedongA large portrait of Mao Zedong at Tiananmen

The Chinese Communist Party came to power in China in 1949 after a long and bloody civil war between communists and the nationalist Kuomintang. There is a general consensus among historians that after Mao Zedong seized power, his policies and political purges directly or indirectly caused the deaths of tens of millions of people.[177][178][179] Based on the Soviets’ experience, Mao considered violence to be necessary in order to achieve an ideal society that would be derived from Marxism and as a result he planned and executed violence on a grand scale.[180][181]

Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries

Main articles: Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries and Chinese Land Reform

The first large-scale killings under Mao took place during his land reform and the campaign to suppress counter-revolutionaries. According to Daniel Goldhagen, official study materials published in 1948 show that Mao envisaged that “one-tenth of the peasants”, or about 50,000,000, “would have to be destroyed” to facilitate agrarian reform.[182] The exact number of people who were killed during Mao’s land reform is believed to have been lower; according to Rudolph Rummel and Philip Short, at least one million people were killed.[180][183] The suppression of counter-revolutionaries targeted mainly former Kuomintang officials and intellectuals who were suspected of disloyalty.[184] According to Yang Kuisong, at least 712,000 people were executed and 1,290,000 were imprisoned in labor camps known as Laogai.[185]

Great Leap Forward and the Great Chinese Famine

This group of sections that follow possibly contains original research. Individual articles are not described as mass killings (the Great Chinese Famine, which accounts for about 50% of what is called by some authors “Communist death toll”, is not described as mass killing), and are not included in genocide scholar Barbara Harff‘s global database of mass killings, which is the most frequently used by genocide scholars and includes politicides; one of the few exception is the Cambodian genocide, which is also one of the few events on which scholars agree on it being genocide, and indeed it is included in the database as politicide and genocide. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (November 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Main articles: Great Chinese Famine and Great Leap Forward

Benjamin Valentino posits that the Great Leap Forward was a cause of the Great Chinese Famine and the worst effects of the famine were steered towards the regime’s enemies.[186] Those who were labeled “black elements” (religious leaders, rightists, and rich peasants) in earlier campaigns died in the greatest numbers because they were given the lowest priority in the allocation of food.[186] In Mao’s Great Famine, historian Frank Dikötter writes that “coercion, terror, and systematic violence were the very foundation of the Great Leap Forward” and it “motivated one of the most deadly mass killings of human history.”[187] Dikötter estimates that at least 2.5 million people were summarily killed or tortured to death during this period.[188] His research in local and provincial Chinese archives indicates the death toll was at least 45 million: “In most cases the party knew very well that it was starving its own people to death.”[189] In a secret meeting at Shanghai in 1959, Mao issued the order to procure one third of all grain from the countryside, saying: “When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.”[189] In light of additional evidence of Mao’s culpability, Rummel added those killed by the Great Famine to his total for Mao’s democide for a total of 77 million killed.[41][bx]


Main article: History of Tibet (1950–present)

According to Jean-Louis Margolin in The Black Book of Communism, the Chinese communists carried out a cultural genocide against the Tibetans. Margolin states that the killings were proportionally larger in Tibet than they were in China proper and “one can legitimately speak of genocidal massacres because of the numbers that were involved.”[190] According to the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration, “Tibetans were not only shot, but they were also beaten to death, crucified, burned alive, drowned, mutilated, starved, strangled, hanged, boiled alive, buried alive, drawn and quartered, and beheaded.”[190] Adam Jones, a scholar who specializes in genocide, states that after the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Chinese authorized struggle sessions against reactionaries, during which “communist cadres denounced, tortured, and frequently executed enemies of the people.” These sessions resulted in 92,000 deaths out of a total population of about 6 million. These deaths, Jones stressed, may not only be seen as a genocide, but they may also be seen as an eliticide, meaning “targeting the better educated and leadership oriented elements among the Tibetan population.”[191] Patrick French, the former director of the Free Tibet Campaign in London, writes that the Free Tibet Campaign and other groups have claimed that a total of 1.2 million Tibetans were killed by the Chinese since 1950 but after examining archives in Dharamsala, he found “no evidence to support that figure.”[192] French states that a reliable alternative number is unlikely to be known but estimates that as many as half a million Tibetans died “as a ‘direct result’ of the policies of the People’s Republic of China”, using historian Warren Smith’s estimate of 200,000 people who are missing from population statistics in the Tibet Autonomous Region and extending that rate to the borderland regions.[193]

Cultural Revolution

Main article: Cultural Revolution

Sinologists Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals estimate that between 750,000 and 1.5 million people were killed in the violence of the Cultural Revolution in rural China alone.[194] Mao’s Red Guards were given carte blanche to abuse and kill people who were perceived to be enemies of the revolution.[195] Sociologist Yang Su has written that these mass killing were an outcome of “the paradox of state sponsorship and state failure”; according to Yang, mass killings were concentrated in rural areas in the months after the establishment of county revolutionary committees, with mass killing being more likely in communities with more local party members. Repression by the local organizations may have been in response to the rhetoric of violence promoted by the provincial capitals as a result of mass factionalism in those capitals, and the “peaks of mass killings coincided with two announcements from the party center in July 1968 banning factional armed battles and disbanding mass organizations”;[by] Yang writes that Mao’s government designated class enemies using an artificial and arbitrary standard to accomplish two political tasks: “mobilizing mass compliance and resolving elite conflict”, while the elastic nature of the category allowed it to “take on a genocidal dimension under extraordinary circumstances.”[bz] Political scientists Evgeny Finkel and Scott Straus write that Su estimates up to three million people were “murdered by their neighbors in collective killings and struggle rallies. This happened even though the central government had not issued any mass killing orders or policies.”[196]

In August 1966, over 100 teachers were murdered by their students in western Beijing.[197]

Tiananmen Square

Main article: 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre

Jean-Louis Margolin states that under Deng Xiaoping, at least 1,000 people were killed in Beijing and hundreds of people were also executed in the countryside after his government crushed demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989.[198] According to Louisa Lim in 2014, a group of victims’ relatives in China called the “Tiananmen Mothers” has confirmed the identities of more than 200 of those who were killed.[199] Alex Bellamy writes that this “tragedy marks the last time in which an episode of mass killing in East Asia was terminated by the perpetrators themselves, judging that they had succeeded.”[200]

  • Replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue in Hong Kong’s June 4th Museum
  • A memorial to the 1989 Tiananmen Square events in the Dominican Square in Wrocław, Poland
  • Statue located in Ávila, Spain recalling the events of Tiananmen Square


Main article: Cambodian genocideSee also: Cambodian Civil WarDemocratic KampucheaKhmer Rouge, and Killing FieldsSkulls of victims of the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields in Cambodia

The Killing Fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and their bodies were buried by the Khmer Rouge regime during its rule of the country, which lasted from 1975 to 1979, after the end of the Cambodian Civil War. Sociologist Martin Shaw described the Cambodian genocide as “the purest genocide of the Cold War era.”[201] The results of a demographic study of the Cambodian genocide concluded that the nationwide death toll from 1975 to 1979 amounted to 1,671,000 to 1,871,000, or 21 to 24 percent of the total Cambodian population as it was estimated to number before the Khmer Rouge took power.[202] According to Ben Kiernan, the number of deaths which were specifically caused by execution is still unknown because many victims died from starvation, disease and overwork.[202] Researcher Craig Etcheson of the Documentation Center of Cambodia suggests that the death toll was between 2 and 2.5 million, with a “most likely” figure of 2.2 million. After spending five years researching about 20,000 grave sites, he posited that “these mass graves contain the remains of 1,112,829 victims of execution.”[203] A study by French demographer Marek Sliwinski calculated slightly fewer than 2 million unnatural deaths under the Khmer Rouge out of a 1975 Cambodian population of 7.8 million, with 33.5% of Cambodian men dying under the Khmer Rouge compared to 15.7% of Cambodian women.[204] The number of suspected victims of execution who were found in 23,745 mass graves is estimated to be 1.3 million according to a 2009 academic source. Execution is believed to account for roughly 60% of the total death toll during the genocide, with other victims succumbing to starvation or disease.[205]

Helen Fein, a genocide scholar, states that the xenophobic ideology of the Khmer Rouge regime bears a stronger resemblance to “an almost forgotten phenomenon of national socialism”, or fascism, rather than communism.[206] Responding to Ben Kiernan‘s “argument that Pol Pot’s Democratic Kampuchea regime was more racist and generically totalitarian than Marxist or specifically Communist”, Steve Heder states that the example of such racialist thought as it is applied in relation to the minority Cham people echoed “Marx’s definition of a historyless people doomed to extinction in the name of progress” and it was therefore a part of general concepts of class and class struggle.[207] Craig Etcheson writes that data on the distribution and origin of the mass graves as well as internal Khmer Rouge security documents, leads to the conclusion that “most of the violence was carried out pursuant to orders from the highest political authorities of the Communist Party of Kampuchea”, rather than being the result of the “spontaneous excesses of a vengeful, undisciplined peasant army”,[ca] while French historian Henri Locard writes that the fascist label was applied to the Khmer Rouge by the Communist Party of Vietnam as a form of revisionism, but the repression which existed under the rule of the Khmer Rouge was “similar (if significantly more lethal) to the repression in all communist regimes.”[204] Daniel Goldhagen states that the Khmer Rouge were xenophobic because they believed that the Khmer people were “the one authentic people capable of building true communism.”[208] Steven Rosefielde writes that Democratic Kampuchea was the deadliest of all communist regimes on a per capita basis, primarily because it “lacked a viable productive core” and it “failed to set boundaries on mass murder.”[209]

Other states

Barbara Harff and Ted Gurr write: “Most Marxist–Leninist regimes which came to power through protracted armed struggle in the postwar period perpetrated one or more politicides, though of vastly different magnitudes.”[cb] According to Benjamin Valentino, most regimes that described themselves as communist did not commit mass killings, but in communist states such as BulgariaRomania, and East Germany, mass killings were committed on a scale which was smaller than his standard of 50,000 people who were killed within a period of five years, although the lack of documentation prevents a definitive judgement about the scale of these events and the motives of their perpetrators.[210] Atsushi Tago and Frank Wayman write that because democide is broader than mass killing or genocide, most communist regimes can be said to have engaged in it, including the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, North Vietnam, East Germany, PolandCzechoslovakiaHungaryNorth KoreaCubaLaosAlbania, and Yugoslavia.[211]

People’s Republic of Bulgaria

According to Valentino, between 50,000 and 100,000 people may have been killed in Bulgaria beginning in 1944 as part of a campaign of agricultural collectivization and political repression, although there is insufficient documentation to make a definitive judgement.[212] In his book History of Communism in Bulgaria, Dinyu Sharlanov accounts for about 31,000 people who were killed by the regime between 1944 and 1989.[213][214]

East Germany

Further information: NKVD special camps in Germany 1945–1950

According to Valentino, between 80,000 and 100,000 people may have been killed in East Germany beginning in 1945 as part of the Soviet denazification campaign; other scholars posit that these estimates are inflated.[212][215][216]A memorial to dead prisoners at an NKVD special camp in Germany

Immediately after World War IIdenazification commenced in Allied-occupied Germany and regions the Nazis had annexed. In the Soviet occupation zone of Germany, the NKVD established prison camps, usually in abandoned Nazi concentration camps, and they used them to intern alleged Nazis and Nazi German officials, along with some landlords and Prussian Junkers. According to files and data released by the Soviet Ministry for the Interior in 1990, 123,000 Germans and 35,000 citizens of other nations were detained. Of these prisoners, a total of 786 people were shot and 43,035 people died of various causes. Most of the deaths were not direct killings but were caused by outbreaks of dysentery and tuberculosis. Deaths from starvation also occurred on a large scale, particularly from late 1946 to early 1947, but these deaths do not appear to have been deliberate killings because food shortages were widespread in the Soviet occupation zone. The prisoners in the “silence camps”, as the NKVD special camps were called, did not have access to the black market and were only able to get food that was handed to them by the authorities. Some prisoners were executed and others may have been tortured to death. In this context, it is difficult to determine if the prisoner deaths in the silence camps can be categorized as mass killings. It is also difficult to determine how many of the dead were Germans, East Germans, or members of other nationalities.[217][218]

East Germany’s government erected the Berlin Wall following the Berlin Crisis of 1961. Even though crossing between East Germany and West Germany was possible for motivated and approved travelers, thousands of East Germans tried to defect by illegally crossing the wall. Of these, between 136 and 227 people were killed by the Berlin Wall’s guards during the years of the wall’s existence (1961-1989).[219][220]

Socialist Republic of Romania

See also: Bărăgan deportations and Danube-Black Sea Canal § Forced labor and repression

According to Valentino, between 60,000 and 300,000 people may have been killed in Romania beginning in 1945 as part of agricultural collectivization and political repression.[212]

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

See also: Barbara Pit massacreBleiburg repatriationsFoibe massacresGoli OtokMacelj massacreKočevski Rog massacre, and Tezno massacreFurther information: Communist purges in Serbia in 1944–45Leftist errors, and Titoism

The communist regime of Josip Broz Tito bloodily repressed opponents and committed several massacres of prisoners of war after the World War II. The European Public Hearing on Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes reports: “The decision to ‘annihilate’ opponents must had been adopted in the closest circles of the Yugoslav state leadership, and the order was certainly issued by the Supreme Commander of the Yugoslav Army Josip Broz Tito, although it is not known when or in what form.”[221][222][223][224][cc]

Dominic McGoldrick writes that as the head of a “highly centralised and oppressive” dictatorship, Tito wielded tremendous power in Yugoslavia, with his dictatorial rule administered through an elaborate bureaucracy which routinely suppressed human rights.[224] Eliott Behar states that “Tito’s Yugoslavia was a tightly controlled police state”,[225] and outside the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia had more political prisoners than all of the rest of Eastern Europe combined, according to David Mates.[226] Tito’s secret police was modelled on the Soviet KGB. Its members were ever-present and they often acted extrajudicially,[227] with victims including middle-class intellectuals, liberals, and democrats.[228] Yugoslavia was a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights but scant regard was paid to some of its provisions.[229]

North Korea

Further information: Human rights in North KoreaKwallisoNorth Korean famine, and Prisons in North Korea

According to Rudolph Rummel, forced labor, executions, and concentration camps were responsible for over one million deaths in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) from 1948 to 1987.[230] Others have estimated that 400,000 people died in North Korea’s concentration camps alone.[231] A wide range of atrocities have been committed in the camps including forced abortions, infanticide and torture. Former International Criminal Court judge Thomas Buergenthal, who was one of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea‘s authors and a child survivor of Auschwitz, told The Washington Post that “conditions in the [North] Korean prison camps are as terrible, or even worse, than those I saw and experienced in my youth in these Nazi camps and in my long professional career in the human rights field.”[232] Pierre Rigoulot estimates 100,000 executions, 1.5 million deaths through concentration camps and slave labor, and 500,000 deaths from famine.[233] During the Korean War, the DPRK “liquidated” 29,000 civilians during the North Korean occupation of South Korea, June to September, 1950.[234]

The famine, which claimed as many as one million lives, has been described as the result of the economic policies pursued by the North Korean government[235] and deliberate “terror-starvation”;[236] in 2010, Steven Rosefielde stated that the Red Holocaust “still persists in North Korea”, as Kim Jong Il “refuses to abandon mass killing.”[237] Adam Jones cites journalist Jasper Becker‘s claim that the famine was a form of mass killing or genocide due to political manipulations of food.[238] Estimates based on a North Korean 2008 census suggest 240,000 to 420,000 excess deaths as a result of the 1990s North Korean famine and a demographic impact of 600,000 to 850,000 fewer people in North Korea in 2008 as a result of poor living conditions after the famine.[239]

Democratic Republic of Vietnam

Main articles: Land reform in North Vietnam and Land reform in VietnamSee also: NLF and PAVN strategy, organization and structurePersecution of the Montagnard in VietnamRe-education camp (Vietnam); and Vietnamese boat people

Valentino attributes 80,000–200,000 deaths to “communist mass killings” in North and South Vietnam.[240]

According to scholarship based on Vietnamese and Hungarian archival evidence, as many as 15,000 suspected landlords were executed during North Vietnam’s land reform from 1953 to 1956.[cd][241][242] The North Vietnamese leadership planned in advance to execute 0.1% of North Vietnam’s population (estimated at 13.5 million in 1955) as “reactionary or evil landlords”, although this ratio could vary in practice.[243][244] Dramatic errors were committed in the course of the land reform campaign.[245] Vu Tuong states that the number of executions during North Vietnam’s land reform was proportionally comparable to executions during Chinese land reform from 1949 to 1952.[243]


Main article: Human rights in Cuba

According to Jay Ulfelder and Benjamin Valentino, the Fidel Castro government of Cuba killed between 5,000 and 8,335 noncombatants as a part of the campaign of political repression between 1959 and 1970.[246]

Democratic Republic of Afghanistan

Main article: Democratic Republic of Afghanistan

According to Frank Wayman and Atsushi Tago, although frequently considered an example of communist genocide, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan represents a borderline case.[211] Prior to the Soviet–Afghan War, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan executed between 10,000 and 27,000 people, mostly at Pul-e-Charkhi prison.[247][248][249] Mass graves of executed prisoners have been exhumed dating back to the Soviet era.[250]

After the invasion in 1979, the Soviets installed the puppet government of Babrak Karmal. By 1987, about 80% of the country’s territory was permanently controlled by neither the pro-communist government and supporting Soviet troops nor by the armed opposition. To tip the balance, the Soviet Union used a tactic that was a combination of scorched earth policy and migratory genocide. By systematically burning the crops and destroying villages in rebel provinces as well as by reprisal bombing entire villages suspected of harboring or supporting the resistance, the Soviets tried to force the local population to move to Soviet controlled territory, thereby depriving the armed opposition of support.[251] Valentino attributes between 950,000 and 1,280,000 civilian deaths to the Soviet invasion and occupation of the country between 1978 and 1989, primarily as counter-guerrilla mass killing.[252] By the early 1990s, approximately one-third of Afghanistan’s population had fled the country.[ce] M. Hassan Kakar said that “the Afghans are among the latest victims of genocide by a superpower.”[253]

People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Main article: Red Terror (Ethiopia)See also: 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia

Amnesty International estimates that half a million people were killed during the Ethiopian Red Terror of 1977 and 1978.[254][255][256] During the terror, groups of people were herded into churches that were then burned down and women were subjected to systematic rape by soldiers.[257] The Save the Children Fund reported that victims of the Red Terror included not only adults, but 1,000 or more children, mostly aged between eleven and thirteen, whose corpses were left in the streets of Addis Ababa.[254] Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam himself is alleged to have killed political opponents with his bare hands.[258]

Debate over famines

Further information: Soviet and Communist studiesThe Soviet famine of 1932–1933, with areas where the effects of famine were most severe shaded

According to historian J. Arch Getty, over half of the 100 million deaths which are attributed to communism were due to famines.[259] Stéphane Courtois posits that many communist regimes caused famines in their efforts to forcibly collectivize agriculture and systematically used it as a weapon by controlling the food supply and distributing food on a political basis. Courtois states that “in the period after 1918, only Communist countries experienced such famines, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions, of people. And again in the 1980s, two African countries that claimed to be Marxist–LeninistEthiopia and Mozambique, were the only such countries to suffer these deadly famines.”[cf]

Scholars Stephen G. WheatcroftR. W. Davies, and Mark Tauger reject the idea that the Ukrainian famine was an act of genocide that was intentionally inflicted by the Soviet government.[260][261] Getty posits that the “overwhelming weight of opinion among scholars working in the new archives is that the terrible famine of the 1930s was the result of Stalinist bungling and rigidity rather than some genocidal plan.”[259] Novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn opined in a 2 April 2008 article in Izvestia that the 1930s famine in the Ukraine was no different from the Russian famine of 1921–1922, as both were caused by the ruthless robbery of peasants by Bolshevik grain procurements.[262]

Pankaj Mishra questions Mao’s direct responsibility for famine, stating: “A great many premature deaths also occurred in newly independent nations not ruled by erratic tyrants.” Mishra cites Nobel laureate Amartya Sen‘s research demonstrating that democratic India suffered more excess mortality from starvation and disease in the second half of the 20th century than China did. Sen wrote: “India seems to manage to fill its cupboard with more skeletons every eight years than China put there in its years of shame.”[263][264]

Benjamin Valentino writes: “Although not all the deaths due to famine in these cases were intentional, communist leaders directed the worst effects of famine against their suspected enemies and used hunger as a weapon to force millions of people to conform to the directives of the state.”[77] Daniel Goldhagen says that in some cases deaths from famine should not be distinguished from mass murder, commenting: “Whenever governments have not alleviated famine conditions, political leaders decided not to say no to mass death – in other words, they said yes.” Goldhagen says that instances of this occurred in the Mau Mau Rebellion, the Great Leap Forward, the Nigerian Civil War, the Eritrean War of Independence, and the War in Darfur.[265] Martin Shaw posits that if a leader knew the ultimate result of their policies would be mass death by famine, and they continue to enact them anyway these death can be understood as intentional.[266][cg]

Historian and journalists, such as Seumas Milne and Jon Wiener, have criticized the emphasis on communism when assigning blame for famines. In a 2002 article for The Guardian, Milne mentions “the moral blindness displayed towards the record of colonialism“, and he writes: “If Lenin and Stalin are regarded as having killed those who died of hunger in the famines of the 1920s and 1930s, then Churchill is certainly responsible for the 4 million deaths in the avoidable Bengal famine of 1943.” Milne laments that while “there is a much-lauded Black Book of Communism, [there exists] no such comprehensive indictment of the colonial record.”[267] Weiner makes a similar assertion while comparing the Holodomor and the Bengal famine of 1943, stating that Winston Churchill‘s role in the Bengal famine “seems similar to Stalin’s role in the Ukrainian famine.”[268] Historian Mike Davis, author of Late Victorian Holocausts, draws comparisons between the Great Chinese Famine and the Indian famines of the late 19th century, arguing that in both instances the governments which oversaw the response to the famines deliberately chose not to alleviate conditions and as such bear responsibility for the scale of deaths in said famines.[269]

Historian Michael Ellman is critical of the fixation on a “uniquely Stalinist evil” when it comes to excess deaths from famines. Ellman posits that mass deaths from famines are not a “uniquely Stalinist evil”, commenting that throughout Russian history, famines, and droughts have been a common occurrence, including the Russian famine of 1921–1922, which occurred before Stalin came to power. He also states that famines were widespread throughout the world in the 19th and 20th centuries in countries such as India, Ireland, Russia and China. According to Ellman, the G8 “are guilty of mass manslaughter or mass deaths from criminal negligence because of their not taking obvious measures to reduce mass deaths” and Stalin’s “behaviour was no worse than that of many rulers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”[124]

See also: Communist crimes (Polish legal concept) and Lustration

According to a 1992 constitutional amendment in the Czech Republic, a person who publicly denies, puts in doubt, approves, or tries to justify Nazi or communist genocide or other crimes of Nazis or communists will be punished with a prison term of 6 months to 3 years.[270] In 1992, Barbara Harff wrote that no communist country or governing body has ever been convicted of genocide.[271] In his 1999 foreword to The Black Book of CommunismMartin Malia wrote: “Throughout the former Communist world, moreover, virtually none of its responsible officials has been put on trial or punished. Indeed, everywhere Communist parties, though usually under new names, compete in politics.”[272]Mengistu Haile Mariam, the former communist leader of Ethiopia

At the conclusion of a trial lasting from 1994 to 2006, Ethiopia’s former ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam was convicted of genocidewar crimes, and crimes against humanity, and sentenced to death by an Ethiopian court for his role in Ethiopia’s Red Terror.[273][274][275][276] Ethiopian law is distinct from the United Nations‘ Genocide Convention and other definitions in that it defines genocide as intent to wipe out political and not just ethnic groups. In this respect, it closely resembles the definition of politicide.[271]

In 1997, the Cambodian government asked the United Nations for assistance in setting up the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.[277][278][279] The prosecution presented the names of five possible suspects to the investigating judges on 18 July 2007.[277] On 26 July 2010, Kang Kek Iew (Comrade Duch), director of the S-21 prison camp in Democratic Kampuchea where more than 14,000 people were tortured and then murdered (mostly at nearby Choeung Ek), was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 35 years. His sentence was reduced to 19 years in part because he had been behind bars for 11 years.[280] Nuon Chea, second in command of the Khmer Rouge and its most senior surviving member, was charged of war crimes and crimes against humanity but not of genocide. On 7 August 2014, he was convicted of crimes against humanity by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and received a life sentence.[281][282] Khieu Samphan, the Khmer Rouge head of state, was also convicted of crimes against humanity. In 2018, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan were convicted of genocide for “the attempted extermination of the Cham and Vietnamese minorities.”[283]

After restoration of their independence in 1991, the Baltic states started investigating crimes against humanity committed during the Soviet occupation, with most criminal cases focusing on deportation of civilians and extrajudicial killing of forest brethren. In 2013 Rain Liivoja estimated that Estonia had convicted eleven, Latvia nine, and Lithuania about dozen persons. Some former Soviet officials like Alfons Noviks [lv], the former People’s Commissar of the Interior of the Latvian SSR, were explicitly convicted for genocide.[284]

On 26 November 2010, the Russian State Duma issued a declaration acknowledging Stalin’s responsibility for the Katyn massacre, the execution of over 21,000 Polish POW’s and intellectual leaders by Stalin’s NKVD. The declaration stated that archival material “not only unveils the scale of his horrific tragedy but also provides evidence that the Katyn crime was committed on direct orders from Stalin and other Soviet leaders.”[285][ch]

Memorials and museums

See also: Black Ribbon DayDouble genocide theory, and Prague DeclarationMap of Stalin’s Gulag camps in the Gulag Museum in Moscow, founded in 2001 by the historian Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko

Monuments to the victims of communism exist in almost all the capitals of Eastern Europe and there are also several museums which document the crimes which occurred during communist rule such as the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights in Lithuania, the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia in Riga and the House of Terror in Budapest, all three of these museums also document the crimes which occurred during Nazi rule.[286][259] Several scholars, among them Kristen Ghodsee and Laure Neumayer, posit that these efforts seek to institutionalize the “victims of communism” narrative as a double genocide theory, or the moral equivalence between the Nazi Holocaust (race murder) and those killed by communist states (class murder),[59] and that works such as The Black Book of Communism played a major role in the criminalization of communism in the European political space in the post Cold War-era.[60] Zoltan Dujisin writes that “the Europeanization of an antitotalitarian ‘collective memory’ of communism reveals the emergence of a field of anticommunism” and the narrative is proposed by “anticommunist memory entrepreneurs.”[287]

In Washington D.C., a bronze statue modeled after the Goddess of Democracy sculpture, which was created during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, was dedicated as the Victims of Communism Memorial in 2007, having been authorized by the Congress in 1993.[17][288] The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation plans to build an International Museum on Communism in Washington.[289] In 2002, the Memorial to the Victims of Communism was unveiled in Prague.[290] In Hungary, the Gloria Victis Memorial to honor “the 100 million victims of communism” was erected in 2006 on the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.[291] As of 2008, Russia contained 627 memorials and memorial plaques which are dedicated to the victims of the communist terror, most of them were created by private citizens, but it did not have either a national monument or a national museum.[292] The Wall of Grief in Moscow, inaugurated in October 2017, is Russia’s first monument to the victims of political persecution by Stalin during the country’s Soviet era.[293] In 2017, Canada’s National Capital Commission approved the design of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge which will be built on the Garden of the Provinces and Territories in Ottawa.[294] On 23 August 2018, Estonia’s Victims of Communism 1940–1991 Memorial was inaugurated in Tallinn by Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid.[295] The memorial’s construction was financed by the state and the memorial itself is being managed by the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory.[296] The date of the opening ceremony was chosen because it coincided with the official European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.[297]


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The concept of mass killing as a phenomenon unique to communist governments, or ideologically inherent within them, is heavily disputed.[61][63]

Many commentators on the political right state that the mass killings under communist regimes are an indictment of communism.[298][61][299] Opponents of this hypothesis state that these killings were aberrations caused by specific authoritarian regimes, and not caused by communism itself, and point to mass deaths in wars that they claim were caused by capitalism and anti-communism as a counterpoint to those killings.[ci][61][300][63]

See also

Communist movements and violence

Mass killing of communists

Violence by governments in general and comparative studies


Excerpts and notes

  1. ^ Krain 1997, pp. 331–332: “1. The literatures on state-sponsored mass murder and state terrorism have been plagued by definitional problems. Terms such as state-sponsored mass murder and state terrorism can be (and often are) easily confused and therefore need elaboration. The main difference between state-sponsored mass murder and state terrorism, for instance, is one of intentionality. The purpose behind policies of state-sponsored mass murder such as genocide or politicide is to eliminate an entire group (Gurr 1986, 67). The purpose behind policies of state terrorism is to ‘induce sharp fear and through that agency to effect a desired outcome in a conflict situation’ (Gurr 1986, 46). The former requires mass killings to accomplish its goal. The latter’s success is dependent on the persuasiveness of the fear tactics used. Mass killings may not be necessary to accomplish the particular goal. … 2. Genocides are mass killings in which the victim group is defined by association with a particular communal group. Politicides are mass killings in which ‘victim groups are defined primarily in terms of their hierarchical position or political opposition to the regime and dominant groups’ (Harff and Gurr 1988, 360). Interestingly, many of the instances coded by Harff and Gurr as ‘politicide’ are considered by much of the literature to be instances of state terrorism (e.g., Argentina, Chile, El Salvador) (Lopez 1984, 63). Evidently there is some overlap between state terrorism and some kinds of state-sponsored mass murder.”
  2. ^ Valentino 2005, p. 9: “Mass killing and Genocide. No generally accepted terminology exists to describe the intentional killing of large numbers of noncombatants.”
  3. ^ Karlsson & Schoenhals 2008, p. 6: “‘Crimes against humanity’ is a linguistically and logically cumbersome term when the aim is to analyse physical violence perpetrated by individual groups, institutions and states against specific victim groups in their own country, which is essentially the case in the context of communist regimes’ crimes against humanity. In addition, it is not in keeping with the terms that have long been used by the academic community. Naturally, the work of creating an inventory includes examining the terms used in practice by researchers in their analyses, and it is reasonable to assume that every time, every society and every paradigm has its own terms to refer to the crimes of communist regimes. Nonetheless, it is possible to establish at this early stage that researchers have long used the word terror to describe the crimes of the Soviet communist regime, regardless of the framework of interpretation to which they adhere. Although the extent to which the mass operations and forced deportations of specific ethnic groups ordered by Stalin before and during the Second World War can be defined as genocide is debated, there is agreement among researchers that the term ‘terror’ is the best reflection of the development of violence in Bolshevik Russia and in the communist Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin. As a result, terror will be the term most frequently used here in analysing the Soviet communist criminal history. On the other hand, the term terror is seldom used to describe the mass killings in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979, which may be because it is less clear that the actual intention and stated motive of the Khmer Rouge was to terrorise people into submission. The term genocide, however, is relatively widely accepted and established in describing the systematic and selective crimes of the communist regime in Cambodia, although the use of this term is not entirely uncontroversial. Therefore, in analysing the criminal history of Cambodia, this term will be used in precise contexts dealing with the killing of a category of people, whereas more neutral terms such as mass killing and massacre are used to refer to the general use of violence. The terminology used in the Chinese criminal history is dealt with in detail as part of the section on China. … In the Soviet case, as Klas-Göran Karlsson so rightly notes, there is an ‘established term’ for the crimes of the regime, namely ‘terror’ – and this is used almost regardless of the general frameworks of interpretation employed by individual researchers. In the same way, he notes that ‘the term genocide is established and accepted as a description of the crimes of the Khmer Rouge’. In the case of the People’s Republic of China, however, there are no equivalent terms that are accepted or generally established in the academic community and that can be made use of in a research inventory. Bibliographies and search engines all speak their own clear language: those who carried out research on Maoism in its day made very limited use of words such as terror and genocide, and neither do these terms appear among the key terms that carry implicit clear explanations and are therefore regularly used by current foreign and Chinese historians.”
  4. ^ Semelin 2009, p. 318: “‘Classicide’, in counterpoint to genocide, has a certain appeal, but it doesn’t convey the fact that communist regimes, beyond their intention of destroying ‘classes’ – a difficult notion to grasp in itself (what exactly is a ‘kulak’?) – end up making political suspicion a rule of government: even within the Party (and perhaps even mainly within the Party). The notion of ‘fratricide’ is probably more appropriate in this regard. That of ‘politicide’, which Ted Gurr and Barbara Harff suggest, remains the most intelligent, although it implies by contrast that ‘genocide’ is not ‘political’, which is debatable. These authors in effect explain that the aim of politicide is to impose total political domination over a group or a government. Its victims are defined by their position in the social hierarchy or their political opposition to the regime or this dominant group. Such an approach applies well to the political violence of communist powers and more particularly to Pol Pot’s Democratic Kampuchea. The French historian Henri Locard in fact emphasises this, identifying with Gurr and Harff’s approach in his work on Cambodia. However, the term ‘politicide’ has little currency among some researchers because it has no legal validity in international law. That is one reason why Jean-Louis Margolin tends to recognise what happened in Cambodia as ‘genocide’ because, as he points out, to speak of ‘politicide’ amounts to considering Pol Pot’s crimes as less grave than those of Hitler. Again, the weight of justice interferes in the debate about concepts that, once again, argue strongly in favour of using the word genocide. But those so concerned about the issue of legal sanctions should also take into account another legal concept that is just as powerful, and better established: that of crime against humanity. In fact, legal scholars such as Antoine Garapon and David Boyle believe that the violence perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge is much more appropriately categorised under the heading of crime against humanity, even if genocidal tendencies can be identified, particularly against the Muslim minority. This accusation is just as serious as that of genocide (the latter moreover being sometimes considered as a subcategory of the former) and should thus be subject to equally severe sentences. I quite agree with these legal scholars, believing that the notion of ‘crime against humanity’ is generally better suited to the violence perpetrated by communist regimes, a viewpoint shared by Michael Mann.”
  5. ^ Su 2011, pp. 7–8: “Killing civilians in large numbers is an age-old phenomenon. Since World War II, its conceptualization has been shaped by the enormity of the Holocaust, in which Hitler and the Nazi regime killed more than six million Jews. In 1948, the United Nations (UN) passed the ‘Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.’ Lemkin and other framers clearly had the Holocaust in mind when they defined genocide as an act of a nation-state to eliminate an ethnic or national group. Other conceptions of genocide are also preoccupied by central state politics, state-led exterminations, and institutionalized state killers. Later scholars expanded the concept to include cases in which victims are defined other than by ethnic, national, or religious characteristics. Valentino uses the term mass killing instead, and defines it as ‘the intentional killing of a massive number of noncombatants.’ Other concepts such as politicidedemocide, and classicide were developed to address killings in communist countries.”
  6. ^ Weiss-Wendt 2008, p. 42: “The field of comparative genocide studies has grown beyond recognition over the past two decades, though more quantitatively than qualitatively. On the surface, everything looks good: the number of books on genocide has tripled within less than a decade; the field of comparative genocide studies has its own professional association and journals; more and more colleges and universities offer courses on genocide; several research institutions dedicated to the study of genocide have been established. If we are talking numbers, comparative genocide studies are indeed a success. Upon closer examination, however, genocide scholarship is ridden with contradictions. There is barely any other field of study that enjoys so little consensus on defining principles such as definition of genocide, typology, application of a comparative method, and timeframe. Considering that scholars have always put stress on prevention of genocide, comparative genocide studies have been a failure. Paradoxically, nobody has attempted so far to assess the field of comparative genocide studies as a whole. This is one of the reasons why those who define themselves as genocide scholars have not been able to detect the situation of crisis.”
  7. ^ Ott 2011, p. 53: “As is customary in the literature on mass killing of civilians there is a need to restate here what mass killing is about. Although many definitions have been used — ‘genocide’, ‘politicide’ and ‘democide’ — there has emerged a sort of consensus that the term ‘mass killing’ is much more straightforward than either genocide or politicide. Harff (2003) makes a clear distinction from genocide, often used interchangeably with mass killing, by emphasizing the intention of the perpetrator. He [sic] posits: ‘genocide as an authority group’s sustained purposeful implementation or facilitation of policies designed to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group’ (Harff, 2003, p. 58). Although this definition encompasses the ethnic population, the emphasis here is on the objective function of the authority, which is the destruction in whole or part of the intended group. The second definition, politicide, limits the annihilation to a specific group. Politicide pertains when the victimized group is identified by its political opposition to the dominant party, rather than other communal characteristics (Harff, 2003, p. 58). Rummel (1995) advanced the democide label. It is defined as the ‘murder of any person or people by a government including genocide, politicide and mass murder’ (p. 3).”
  8. ^ Semelin 2009, p. 37: “Mann thus establishes a sort of parallel between racial enemies and class enemies, thereby contributing to the debates on comparisons between Nazism and communism. This theory has also been developed by some French historians such as Stéphane Courtois and Jean-Louis Margolin in The Black Book of Communism: they view class genocide as the equivalent to racial genocide. Mann however refuses to use the term ‘genocide’ to describe the crimes committed under communism. He prefers the terms ‘fratricide’ and ‘classicide’, a word he coined to refer to intentional mass killings of entire social classes.”
  9. ^ Rummel 1993: “First, however, I should clarify the term democide. It means for governments what murder means for an individual under municipal law. It is the premeditated killing of a person in cold blood, or causing the death of a person through reckless and wanton disregard for their life. Thus, a government incarcerating people in a prison under such deadly conditions that they die in a few years is murder by the state–democide–as would parents letting a child die from malnutrition and exposure be murder. So would government forced labor that kills a person within months or a couple of years be murder. So would government created famines that then are ignored or knowingly aggravated by government action be murder of those who starve to death. And obviously, extrajudicial executions, death by torture, government massacres, and all genocidal killing be murder. However, judicial executions for crimes that internationally would be considered capital offenses, such as for murder or treason (as long as it is clear that these are not fabricated for the purpose of executing the accused, as in communist show trials), are not democide. Nor is democide the killing of enemy soldiers in combat or of armed rebels, nor of noncombatants as a result of military action against military targets.”
  10. Jump up to:a b Harff 2003, p. 58: “First, the Convention does not include groups of victims defined by their political position or actions. Raphael Lemkin (1944) coined the term genocide and later sought the support of as many states as possible for a legal document that would outlaw mass killings and prescribe sanctions against potential perpetrators. Because the first draft of the Convention, which included political groups, was rejected by the USSR and its allies, the final draft omitted any reference to political mass murder (Le Blanc 1988). The concept of politicide is used here to encompass cases with politically defined victims, consistent with Fein’s (1993b, 12) line of reasoning that ‘mass killings of political groups show similarities in their causes, organization and motives.'”
  11. ^ Williams 2008, p. 190: “A vital element of the evolution of genocide studies is the increased attention devoted to the mass killing of groups not primarily defined by ethnic or religious identities. Most vulnerable minorities around the world had been so defined when Lemkin was crafting his genocide framework, and when UN member states were drafting the Genocide Convention. Such groups continued to be targeted in the post-Second World War period, as in East Pakistan/ Bangladesh in 1971, or Guatemala between 1978 and 1984. But it became increasingly apparent that political groups were on the receiving end of some of the worst campaigns of mass killing, such as the devastating assault on the Indonesian Communist Party in 1965—1966 (with half a million to one million killed), and the brutal campaigns by Latin American and Asian military regimes against perceived dissidents in the 1970s and 1980s. One result of this re-evaluation was that the mass killing by the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia between 1975 and 1978, previously ruled out as genocide or designated an ‘auto-genocide’ because most victims belonged to the same ethnic-Khmer group as their killers, came to be accepted as a classic instance of twentieth-century genocide. Detailed investigations were also launched into the hecatombs of casualties inflicted under Leninism and Stalinism in the post-revolutionary Soviet Union, and by Mao Zedong’s communists in China. In both of these cases—and to some degree in Cambodia as well—the majority of deaths resulted not from direct execution, but from the infliction of ‘conditions of life calculated to bring about [the] physical destruction’ of a group, in the language of Article II(c) of the Genocide Convention. In particular, the devastating famines that struck the Ukraine and other minority regions of the USSR in the early 1930s, and the even greater death-toll—numbering tens of millions—caused by famine during Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ (1958—1962), were increasingly, though not uncontroversially, depicted as instances of mass killing underpinned by genocidal intent.”
  12. Jump up to:a b Hackmann 2009: “A coining of communism as ‘red Holocaust,’ as had been suggested by the Munich Institut fur Zeitgeschichte, did not find much ground, neither in Germany nor elsewhere in international discussions.”
  13. ^ Rosefielde 2010, p. 3: “The Red Holocaust could be defined to include all murders (judicially sanctioned terror-executions), criminal manslaughter (lethal forced labor and ethnic cleansing) and felonious negligent homicide (terror-starvation) incurred from insurrectionary actions and civil wars prior to state seizure, and all subsequent felonious state killings. This treatise, however, limits the Red Holocaust death toll to peacetime state killings, even if communists were responsible for political assassinations, insurrections and civil wars before achieving power, in order to highlight the causal significance of communist economic systems. It also excludes deaths attributable to wartime hostilities after states were founded. As a matter of accounting, the convention excludes Soviet killings before 1929, during World War II (1940-45) and in Germany, occupied Europe, North Korea, Manchuria and the Kuril Islands (1946-53). Killings in China before October 1949 are similarly excluded, as are those in Indochina before 1954. Soviet slaughter of nobles, kulaks, capitalist and the bourgeoisie during War Communism are part of the excluded wartime group, but killings of similar social categories in China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia after their civil wars in the process of Communist consolidation are included. The summary casualty statistics reported in Table 11.1 conform with this definition and in principle only reflect excess deaths, excluding natural mortality. It provides a comprehensive picture of discretionary communist killings unobscured by wartime exigencies. Others desiring a broader body count to assess the fullest extent of communist carnage can easily supplement the estimates provided here from standard sources.”
  14. ^ Shafir 2016, p. 64: “Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, who was among the first Western authors to analyze this postcommunist trend in Romania, was noting back in 1999 that ‘The pathos, indeed the intentionally provocative tone of the militant parallelism [between Nazism and communism]’ makes use of the term ‘Red Holocaust’ primarily in order to utilize a notion (Holocaust) that ‘allows the reality it describes to immediately attain, in the Western mind, a status equal to that of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazi regime.’ Furthermore, ‘the spirit of the wording is one of a claim of victimization careful to legitimize itself in a sort of mimetic rivalry with Jewish memory.’ That is the competitive martyrdom component of Double Genocide. But Laignel-Lavastine’s intuitive article also alludes to an ideological basis at the foundations of such efforts. In her opinion, postcommunist Romanian historiography had been captured by (both inter-war and national-communist) ideology.”
  15. ^ Voicu 2018, p. 46: “Beginning in the 1990s the notion of a ‘red Holocaust’ (or a ‘communist Holocaust’) was forged in order to establish–including at the level of terminology–the similarity of the two tragedies. The concept of Holocaust, specific to the history of European Jews (and Roma people and other social categories), was thus extracted from its customary register and used to define a different historical experience with its own specific traits. Leon Volovici rightfully condemned the abusive use of this concept as an attempt to ‘usurp’ and undermine a symbol specific to the history of European Jews. As many of those who use the term ‘red Holocaust’ (and other terms along the same lines, such as ‘the Holocaust of Romanian culture’ and ‘the Holocaust of Romanian people’) do so with antisemitic rancor, claiming that the authors of this ‘Holocaust’ are none other than the Jews, the reason for the hijacking of the term becomes clear: to place the blame on Jews and to manufacture an alternate history. It should be noted that the intelligentsia at the top of Romanian culture does not use the expression ‘red Holocaust’ systematically, but rather accidentally. Gabriela Adameșteanu and Rodica Palade, for instance, once considered this syntagma an innocent ‘metaphor’ that could be used legitimately and fruitfully in the debate about the crimes of the communist regime. However, the two journalists–who at the time they supported this syntagma were at the helm of Revista 22–did not use the expression in later publications. From time to time, the syntagma was used by other intellectuals, too, but most of them have recognized its traps and intentions. Yet, while it is no longer part of their usual vocabulary, something of its spirit is still present in the positions they adopt.”
  16. ^ Staub 2011, p. 100: “In contrast to genocide, I see mass killing as ‘killing (or in other ways destroying) members of a group without the intention to eliminate the whole group, or killing large numbers of people’ without a focus on group membership.”
  17. ^ Charny 1999: In the Encyclopedia of Genocide (1999), Israel Charny defined generic genocide as “the mass killing of substantial numbers of human beings, when not in the course of military action against the military forces of an avowed enemy, under conditions of the essential defenselessness and helplessness of the victims.”; Easterly, Gatti & Kurlat 2006, pp. 129–156: In the 2006 article “Development, Democracy, and Mass Killings”, William Easterly, Roberta Gatti, and Sergio Kurlat adopted Charny’s definition of generic genocide for their use of mass killing and massacre to avoid the politics of the term genocide altogether.
  18. ^ Ulfelder & Valentino 2008, p. 2: “The research described here sprang from an interest in observing and assessing the risk of extreme human-rights violations in the form of large-scale violence perpetrated by states against noncombatant civilians. Researchers working in this area usually use the terms ‘genocide’ or ‘mass killing’ to label their subject of interest, but the definitions of those terms remain a source of heated debate among scholars, international lawyers, and policy-makers. Cognizant of these debates, we considered numerous strategies for defining and observing our phenomenon of interest. Unfortunately, none captured the range of events that we wished to explore as completely and objectively as does a simple numerical threshold of civilian fatalities. For purposes of this research, then, we defined a mass killing as any event in which the actions of state agents result in the intentional death of at least 1,000 noncombatants from a discrete group in a period of sustained violence.”
  19. Jump up to:a b Bellamy 2010, p. 102: “If we look at mass killing since 1945 perpetrated by non-democratic states outside the context of war, we find two basic types of case. The first involved revolutionary communist governments implementing their plans for radical transformation. Over one-third of all the relevant cases (14 of the 38 episodes) were perpetrated by communist governments. According to Benjamin Valentino, communist governments were so exceptionally violent because the social transformations they attempted to engineer required the material dispossession of vast numbers of people. The most radical of these regimes, in China, Cambodia, and North Korea, attempted to completely reorient society, eradicating traditional patterns of life and forcibly imposing a new and alien way of life. Communist objectives, Valentino points out, could only be achieved with violence and the scale of the transformation dictated a massive amount of violence. Of course, communist revolutions also elicited resistance, prompting the state into massive and bloody crackdowns and generating a culture of paranoia which led many regimes to periodically purge their own ranks (China’s ‘cultural revolution’ being a good example). In communist ideology, the good of the party was associated with the national interest, individuals were divested of rights and subordinated to the will of the party leadership, and entire groups (e.g. kulaks in the Soviet Union, merchants and intellectuals in Cambodia) were deemed ‘class enemies’ that could be eradicated en masse to protect the revolution.”
  20. ^ Wayman & Tago 2010, pp. 4, 11, 12–13: “Our term, ‘mass killing’, is used by Valentino (2004: 10), who aptly defines it as ‘the intentional killing of a massive number of noncombatants’. The word ‘noncombatants’ distinguishes mass killing from battle-deaths in war, which occur as combatants fight against each other. The ‘massive number’ he selects as the threshold to mass killing is ‘at least fifty thousand intentional deaths over the course of five or fewer years’ (Valentino, 2004: 11-12), which of course averages to at least 10,000 killed per year. … One reason for selecting these thresholds of 10,000 and 1,000 deaths per year is that we find that in the Harff data on geno-politicide, which are one of our key datasets, there are many cases of over 10,000 killed per year, but also some in which between 1,000 and 10,000 are killed per year. Therefore, analyzing at a 1,000-death threshold (as well as the 10,000 threshold) insures the inclusion of all the Harff cases. Valentino chooses 50,000 over five years as ‘to some extent arbitrary’, but a ‘relatively high threshold’ to create high confidence that mass killing did occur and was deliberate, ‘given the generally poor quality of the data available on civilian fatalities’ (Valentino, 2004: 12). We believe that our similar results, when we lower the threshold to 1,000 killed per year, are an indication that the data in Harff and in Rummel remain reliable down even one power of ten below Valentino’s ‘relatively high’ selected threshold, and we hope that, in that sense, our results can be seen as a friendly amendment to his work, and that they basically lend confidence, based on empirical statistical backing, for the conceptual direction which he elected to take. … Within that constant research design, we then showed that the differences were not due to threshold either (over 10,000 killed per year; over 1,000; or over 1). The only remaining difference is the measure of mass killing itself — democide vs. geno-politicide. We have further shown that (although the onset years vary from Harff to Rummel), when one looks at which sovereign states were involved (and the approximate onset year), the geno politicide data is basically a proper subset of the democide data (as one would expect by the addition of the need to show specific intent in geno-politicide). It would therefore appear (assuming for the moment that there are not any big measurement biases) that autocratic regimes, especially communist, are prone to mass killing generically, but not so strongly inclined (i.e. not statistically significantly inclined) toward geno-politicide.”
  21. ^ Su 2003, p. 4: “Following Valentino (1998), I define mass killing in this paper as ‘the intentional killing of a significant number of the members of any group (as group and its membership are defined by the perpetrator) of non-combatants’ (1998:4). A few elements of this definition are worth further discussion. First, identification of the victim is based on ‘membership,’ as opposed to one that is based on immediate threat. In the case of Cultural Revolution, the membership is based on political standards as opposed to ascriptive traces such as race and ethnicity.4 Second, the intent to kill is imputable in the perpetrator. This separates mass killing from other causes of deaths in the Cultural Revolution such as death resulting from on-stage beating or off-stage beating. In on-stage beating the intention was not to kill but to convey a symbolic message and to humiliate the victims, and the main purpose of off-stage torture for confession was clearly to force a confession. Mass killing also differs from casualties of armed battles, a widespread phenomenon occurring in the earlier stage of the Cultural Revolution. Finally, the criterion of ‘a significant number’ indicates some concentration in terms of time and space of the killing. To use a hypothetical example, we should not judge that mass killings occur if 180 villages of a county kill one person in each village, but we should do so if one of the villages kills more than ten people within one day.”
  22. ^ Su 2011, p. 13: “In another conceptual departure from standard scholarship, I use the term collective killing as opposed to genocide or mass killing. This concept shares three basic premises with genocide or mass killing. First, the criteria for becoming a victim are not about deeds but rather with membership in a group. Second, the killing must be intentional, which is distinct from acts of endangerment that carry no goal of killing in the first place. Using torture to elicit confessions, for example, may cause significant numbers of deaths. Third, the number of victims must reach a certain level. This aspect is very much related to the first premise regarding membership: Individuals are rounded up because they are members of a particular group, which by definition results in a collective of victims. I replace the word mass with collective for analysis of units smaller than a country as a whole, for example, county. Collective killings may occur in smaller areas without meeting the criteria suggested by Valentino of ‘at least fifty thousand intentional deaths over the course of five or fewer years.’ With this more fine-grained conceptual approach, it is also possible to compare collective killings across counties, townships, and villages.”
  23. ^ Wayman & Tago 2010, p. 4: “The two important scholars who have created datasets related to this are Rummel (1995) and Harff (2003). Harff (sometimes with Gurr) has studied what she terms ‘genocide and politicide’, defined to be genocide by killing as understood by the Genocide Convention plus the killing of a political or economic group (Harff & Gurr, 1988); the combined list of genocides is sometimes labeled ‘geno-politicide’ for short. Rummel (1994, 1995) has a very similar concept, ‘democide’, which includes such genocide and geno-politicide done by the government forces, plus other killing by government forces, such as random killing not targeted at a particular group. As Rummel (1995: 3-4) says, ‘Cold-blooded government killing … extends beyond genocide’; For example, ‘shooting political opponents; or murdering by quota’. Hence, ‘to cover all such murder as well as genocide and politicide, I use the concept democide. This is the intentional killing of people by government’ (Rummel, 1995: 4). So Rummel has a broader concept than geno-politicide, but one that seems to include geno-politicide as a proper subset.”
  24. ^ Midlarsky 2005, pp. 22, 309, 310: “I distinguish between genocide as the systematic mass murder of people based on ethnoreligious identity, and politicide as the large-scale killing of designated enemies of the state based on socioeconomic or political criteria. Although genocide can be understood to be a species of politicide (but not the converse), in practice, genocidal (i.e., ethnoreligious) killings tap into much deeper historical roots of the human condition. In this distinction, I follow Harff and Gurr 1988, 360. … Turning to Cambodia, the mass killings in that country during Pol Pot’s murderous regime are often characterized with other seemingly identical circumstances. Cambodia and Rwanda, for example, are typically treated as genocides that differ little from each other in essential characteristics. However, the victimization rates for the two countries are similar only when treated as proportions of the total country population systematically murdered. Although the mass murders in Cambodia are frequently characterized as genocide, I argue that in fact genocidal activity was only a small proportion of the killing and that the vast majority of Cambodians died in a politicide, substantially different in origin from the genocides we have been examining. The matter of etiology lies at the root of my distinction here, not definitional semantics. If we lump the Cambodian case other instances of systematized mass murder, then the sources of all of them become hopelessly muddled. … Essentially, I argue that genocides stem from a primitive identification of the ‘collective enemy’ in Carl Schmitt’s sense, whereas politicides, at least of the Cambodian variety, are attributable to more detailed ideological considerations. Further, the Cambodian case falls under the rubric of state killings, having a particular affinity with earlier practices in the Soviet Union and China. Indeed, an arc of Communist politicide can be traced from the western portions of the Soviet Union to China and on to Cambodia. Not all Communist states participated in extensive politicide, but the particular circumstances of Cambodia in 1975 lent themselves to the commission of systematic mass murder. Because an element of Cambodian state insecurity existed in this period, especially vis-à-vis Vietnam, a genocidal element is found in the killing of non-Khmer peoples such as the Vietnamese, who comprised a small proportion of the total.”
  25. ^ Rummel 1993: “Even were we to have total access to all communist archives we still would not be able to calculate precisely how many the communists murdered. Consider that even in spite of the archival statistics and detailed reports of survivors, the best experts still disagree by over 40 percent on the total number of Jews killed by the Nazis. We cannot expect near this accuracy for the victims of communism. We can, however, get a probable order of magnitude and a relative approximation of these deaths within a most likely range.”
  26. Jump up to:a b Bradley 2017, pp. 151–153: “The relationship between human rights and communism in both theory and practice has often been in tension. In the ideational realm, Karl Marx famously dismissed the rights of man as a bourgeois fantasy that masked the systemic inequality of the capitalist system. ‘None of the supposed rights of man,’ Marx wrote, ‘go beyond the egoistic man, man as he is, as a member of civil society … withdrawn into himself, wholly preoccupied with his private interest and acting in accordance with his private caprice.’ Rights and liberties in bourgeois society, he argued, provided only an illusory unity behind which social conflict and inequalities deepened. Rhetorically, the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China and most of the rest of the communist world followed Marx’s lead. As the Chinese argued in 1961, ‘the ‘human rights’ referred to by bourgeois international law and the ‘human rights’ it intends to protect are the rights of the bourgeoisie to enslave and to oppress the labouring people … [and] provide pretexts for imperialist opposition to socialist and nationalist countries. They are reactionary from head to toe.’ Rejecting Enlightenment-era inalienable individual political and civil rights, communist states instead championed collective economic and social rights. The Soviets grew fond of annually celebrating International Human Rights Day, to mark the anniversary of the 1948 adoption of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by offering lectures to its citizens that contrasted the promotion of socialist rights in the Soviet Union with their violations in the capitalist world. And yet state-orchestrated mass killings and what have come to be called gross violations of human rights were at times almost commonplace in communist-led states. Between 1933 and 1945, more than a million people died in the Soviet Gulag system and likely at least 6 million more in politically induced Soviet famines, Stalin’s mass executions in the great terror and in what Timothy Snyder has termed the ‘bloodlands’ of Poland, the Baltic states, Ukraine, Belarus and the western edges of Russia. In Mao’s China, as many as 45 million Chinese died of famine during the Great Leap Forward, while some 2.5 million were killed or tortured to death. During the Cultural Revolution, between 750,000 and 1.5 million were killed. In Pol Pot’s Cambodia, 200,000 were executed and between 1.4 million and 2.2 million of the country’s 7 million people died of disease and starvation. If the precise numbers have always been, and continue to be, in dispute, their order of magnitude is not. In fact the entanglements between human rights and communism in the twentieth century were more ambiguous than the chasm between ideology and these staggering numbers would suggest. The meanings of human rights themselves remained unstable over much of the second half of the century, as did the actors in the communist world who engaged with them. What promises of global human rights like those contained in the Universal Declaration might portend and the very claims about what constituted human rights were not fixed. Nor was the significance of human rights for the making of international politics or local lives as they were lived on the ground at all clear. The relationship between human rights and international communism after 1945 became fluid. In the immediate postwar period, the Soviet Union played an active role in the creation of a global human rights order in the drafting of the Universal Declaration and the Genocide Convention and participating in the Nuremberg Trials. With the coming of decolonization, the Soviets and the Chinese would also help to open out the meanings of international human rights toward the rights of postcolonial self-determination and development. But human rights in the communist world largely became a polemical state posture within the broader Cold War ideological struggle. Indeed, the international project of human rights itself became a muted practice by the 1950s.”
  27. Jump up to:a b c d e Valentino 2005, p. 275: “Rudolph J. Rummel, Death by Government (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1994), p. 15. A team of six French historians coordinated by Stéphane Courtois estimates that communist regimes are responsible for between 85 and 100 million deaths. See Martin Malia, ‘Foreword: The Uses of Atrocity,’ in Stéphane Courtois et.al., The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), p. x. Zbigniew Brzezinski estimates that ‘the failed effort to build communism’ cost the lives of almost sixty million people. See Zbigniew Brzezinski, Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the Twenty-First Century (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1993), p. 16. Matthew White estimates eighty-one million deaths from communist ‘genocide and tyranny’ and ‘man-made famine.’ See Matthew White, ‘Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century,’ http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat8.htm [June 2002]. Todd Culbertson estimates that communist regimes killed ‘perhaps 100 million’ people. See Todd Culbertson, ‘The Human Cost of World Communism,’ Human Events, August 19, 1978, pp. 10-11. These estimates should be considered at the highest end of the plausible range of deaths attributable to communist regimes.”
  28. ^ Culbertson 1978, pp. 10–11: “Available evidence indicates that perhaps 100 million persons have been destroyed by the Communists; the imperviousness of the Iron and Bamboo curtains prevents a more definitive figure. The Communist system of forced starvation, concentration camps, and slave labor is remarkably similar to that of the Nazis, whose policies claimed approximately six million Jewish victims. … This is an incomplete accounting of Communist genocide. Since the Russian Revolution 61 years ago communism has been responsible for the death of 100 million innocent persons – not including the terrorism inspired by Communists in free countries. The total cost of human suffering and grief is beyond comprehension.”
  29. ^ Lenczowski 1985: “The human cost of communism exceeds most Americans’ expectations. The number of people murdered by communist regimes is estimated at between 60 million and 150 million, with the higher figure probably more accurate in light of recent scholarship. The greatest tide of refugees in world history flows from communist states to noncommunist ones: Today it comes from Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Indochina, East Europe, and Nicaragua. (During the entire Vietnam war there was nary a refugee fleeing from Indochina. It was not until communism triumphed that life became so unbearable that people who could withstand decades of war fled to the seas.) Communism invented the concentration camp. Millions have been imprisoned and executed, have worked and starved to death, in these camps. Communist regimes will not permit enterprising Western reporters near these camps, so you don’t hear about them on the news. Communist regimes recognize no restraint on their absolute power. From this they establish ideological falsehoods as the standards of right and wrong and the standards by which deviationism is measured; from this stems the systematic denial of all individual human rights. The quality of life always deteriorates under communism: the militarization of society; the destruction of the consumer economy; the rationing of food; the deterioration of housing and insufficient new construction to meet population growth; the destruction of medical care through lack of medicine and medical supplies; the destruction of religion; the destruction and political control of education and culture; the rewriting of history and destruction of monuments to the national heritage; and the assault on family life and parental jurisdiction over children.”
  30. ^ Brzezinski 2010, pp. 12–16: “Because of Lenin – through mass executions during and after civil war, through massive deaths in the Gulag initiated under Lenin’s direction (and powerfully documented in Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago), and through mass famines induced by ruthless indifference (with Lenin callously dismissing as unimportant the deaths of ‘the half-savage, stupid, difficult people of the Russian villages’) – it can be estimated that between 6-8,000,000 people perished. That number subsequently was more or less tripled by Stalin, who caused, it has been conservatively estimated, the deaths of no less than 20,000,000 people, and perhaps even upward of 25,000,000. … Though the precise figures for Stalin’s toll will never be available, it is unlikely that the range of 20-25,000,000 victims is an exaggeration. Census statistics also indicate that additionally the biological depletion of the Soviet population during Stalin’s reign was even higher. The estimated number of killings cited above, in any case, accounts for Stalin’s direct genocide. Demographic depletion – because of reduced birthrates, loss of offspring because of higher infant mortality, births that did not take place because of imprisonment of a would-be parent, etc. – certainly had to be in excess of even the enormous toll directly attributable to Stalin personally. … Accounting for the human losses in China during the most violent phases of the communist experiment is an even more difficult task. Unlike the exposure of Stalin’s crimes in the Soviet Union (and the much delayed and the still somewhat reticent exposure of Lenin’s crimes), the Chinese regime persists in regarding the Maoist phase as relatively sacrosanct, with its killings justified but with their scale kept secret. The only exception is the cultural revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s, from which the current Chinese rulers suffered directly. For this phase of internal violence some estimates have surfaced, and they suggest deaths on the scale of 1-2,000,000. For the earlier phases, notably the 1950s, there have been broad estimates of as many as several million executed as ‘enemies of the people’ – mostly landlords and richer bourgeoisie as well as former Kuomintang officials and officers. In addition, the figure of up to 27,000,000 peasants who perished as a consequence of the forcible collectivization has often been cited. Given the size of the Chinese population, and the indifference to human life of the current regime, the estimate of about 29,000,000 as the human cost of the communist era is in all probability on the low side, especially as it does not take into account the net loss to China’s population because of the demographic impact of such mass killings. This ghastly ledger would not be complete without some accounting of the price in human lives paid for the attempts to construct communist utopias in Eastern Europe, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Cuba. It is a safe estimate that these consumed at least 3,000,000 victims, with Cambodia under Pol Pot alone accounting for one-third. Thus the total might actually be higher. In brief, the failed effort to build communism in the twentieth century consumed the lives of almost 60,000,000 human beings, making communism the most costly human failure in all of history.”
  31. ^ Courtois 1999, p. 4: “Thus we have delimited crimes against civilians as the essence of the phenomenon of terror. These crimes tend to fit a recognizable pattern even if the practices vary to some extent by regime. The pattern includes execution by various means, such as firing squads, hanging, drowning, battering, and, in certain cases, gassing, poisoning, or ‘car accidents’; destruction of the population by starvation, through man-made famine, the withholding of food, or both; deportation, through which death can occur in transit (either through physical exhaustion or through confinement in an enclosed space), at one’s place of residence, or through forced labor (exhaustion, illness, hunger, cold). Periods described as times of ‘civil war’ are more complex – it is not always easy to distinguish between events caused by fighting between rulers and rebels and events that can be properly described only as a massacre of the civilian population. Nonetheless, we have to start somewhere. The following rough approximation, based on unofficial estimates, gives some sense of the scale and gravity of these crimes:USSR: 20 million deathsChina: 65 million deathsVietnam: 1 million deathsNorth Korea: 2 million deathsCambodia: 2 million deathsEastern Europe: 1 million deathsLatin America: 150,000 deathsAfrica: 1.7 million deathsAfghanistan: 1.5 million deathsthe international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power: about 10,000 deaths.”
  32. ^ Malia 1999, p. x: “The Black Book offers us the first attempt to determine, overall, the actual magnitude of what occurred, by systematically detailing Leninism’s ‘crimes, terror, and repression’ from Russia in 1917 to Afghanistan in 1989. This factual approach puts Communism in what is, after all, its basic human perspective. For it was in truth a ‘tragedy of planetary dimensions’ (in the French publisher’s characterization), with a grand total of victims variously estimated by contributors to the volume at between 85 million and 100 million. Either way, the Communist record offers the most colossal case of political carnage in history. And when this fact began to sink in with the French public, an apparently dry academic work became a publishing sensation, the focus of impassioned political and intellectual debate. The shocking dimensions of the Communist tragedy, however, are hardly news to any serious student of twentieth-century history, at least when the different Leninist regimes are taken individually. The real news is that at this late date the truth should come as such a shock to the public at large.”
  33. ^ Karlsson & Schoenhals 2008, pp. 53–54: “Bearing in mind the charged nature of the subject, it is polemically effective to make such comparisons, but it does not seem particularly fruitful, neither morally nor scientifically, to judge the regimes on the basis of their ‘dangerousness’ or to assess the relationship between communism and Nazism on the basis of what the international academic community calls their ‘atrocities toll’ or ‘body count’. In that case, should the crimes of all communist regimes, in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia and other countries where communism is or has been the dominant party, be compared to the Nazi regime’s massacre of six million Jews? Should the Nazi death toll also include the tens of millions of people who the German Nazi armies and their supporting troops killed during the Second World War? Not even Courtois’ analytical qualification, that ranking the two regimes the same is based on the idea that the ‘weapon of hunger’ was used systematically by both the Nazi regime and a number of communist regimes, makes this more reasonable, since this ‘weapon’ on the whole played a very limited role in the Nazi genocide in relation to other types of methods of mass destruction, and in relation to how it was used by communist regimes.”
  34. Jump up to:a b Valentino 2005, p. 91: “Communist regimes have been responsible for this century’s most deadly episodes of mass killing. Estimates of the total number of people killed by communist regimes range as high as 110 million. In this chapter I focus primarily on mass killings in the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia — history’s most murderous communist states. Communist violence in these three states alone may account for between 21 million and 70 million deaths. Mass killings on a smaller scale also appear to have been carried out by communist regimes in North Korea, Vietnam, Eastern Europe, and Africa.”
  35. ^ Valentino 2005, p. 75: Table 2: Communist Mass Killings in the Twentieth CenturySoviet Union (1917-23) … 250,000-2,500,000Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (1927-45) … 10,000,000-20,000,000China (including Tibet) (1949-72) … 10,000,000-46,000,000Cambodia (1975-79) … 1,000,000-2,000,000Possible cases:Bulgaria (1944-?) … 50,000-100,000East Germany (1945-?) … 80,000-100,000Romania (1945-?) … 60,000-300,000North Korea (1945-?) … 400,000-1,500,000North and South Vietnam (1953-?) … 80,000-200,000″Note: All figures in this and subsequent tables are author’s estimates based on numerous sources. Episodes are listed under the heading ‘possible cases’ in this and subsequent tables when the available evidence suggests a mass killing may have occurred, but documentation is insufficient to make a definitive judgement regarding the number of people killed, the intentionality of the killing, or the motives of the perpetrators.”
  36. ^ White 2011, pp. 455–456: “For those who prefer totals broken down by country, here are reasonable estimates for the number of people who died under Communist regimes from execution, labor camps, famine, ethnic cleansing, and desperate flight in leaky boats:
    • China: 40,000,000
    • Soviet Union: 20,000,000
    • North Korea: 3,000,000
    • Ethiopia: 2,000,000
    • Cambodia: 1,700,000
    • Vietnam: 365,000 (after 1975)
    • Yugoslavia: 175,000
    • East Germany: 100,000
    • Romania: 100,000
    • North Vietnam: 50,000 (internally, 1954-75)
    • Cuba: 50,000
    • Mongolia: 35,000
    • Poland: 30,000
    • Bulgaria: 20,000
    • Czechoslovakia: 11,000
    • Albania: 5,000
    • Hungary: 5,000
    • Rough Total: 70 million
    (This rough total doesn’t include the 20 million killed in the civil wars that brought Communists into power, or the 11 million who died in the proxy wars of the Cold War. Both sides probably share the blame for these to a certain extent. These two categories overlap somewhat, so once the duplicates are weeded out, it seems that some 26 million people died in Communist-inspired wars.)”
  37. ^ Bellamy 2012, p. 949: “Between 1945 and 1989, communist regimes massacred literally millions of civilians. A conservative estimate puts the total number of civilians deliberately killed by communists after the Second World War between 6.7 million and 15.5 million people, with the true figure probably much higher. Communist governments in China and Cambodia embarked on programs of radical social transformation and killed, tortured or allowed to starve whole groups that were thought hostile to change or simply unworthy of life. In the Soviet Union, Albania, North Korea, East Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Yugoslavia and China, communist governments used sometimes massive levels of indiscriminate violence against civilians to deter and defeat actual and imagined opponents and/or exact revenge for the Second World War. Where communist governments were violently challenged, they exhibited little concern for civilian immunity, as evidenced by the Soviet assaults on Hungary and Afghanistan and North Korea’s conduct in the Korean War. Finally, communism spawned violent non-state actors, such as the Red Brigades and Bader-Meinhoffer gang in Europe, Shining Path in Peru, and FARC in Colombia, all of which deliberately targeted non-combatants.”
  38. ^ Strauss 2014, pp. 360–361: “For some areas, there is now a beginning of scholarly convergence on raw numbers. Most are now willing to accept a rough number of around 20 million including famine victims for the Soviet Union, and provisionally somewhere between 2 and 3 million for Cambodia, of whom roughly half were executed outright. In other environments such as China, there is still little consensus on numbers of total victims of Maoist revolutionary policies; for the Great Leap Forward alone, estimates of excess deaths range from 15 to 40 million.”
  39. ^ Dissident 2016: “A brief survey returns the following high and low estimates for the number of people who died at the hand of communist regimes:China: 29,000,000 (Brzezinski) to 78,860,000 (Li)USSR: 7,000,000 (Tolz) to 69,500,000 (Panin)North Korea: 1,600,000 (Rummel, Lethal Politics; figure for killings) to 3,500,000 (Hwang Jang-Yop, cited in AFP; figure for famine)Cambodia: 740,000 (Vickery) to 3,300,000 (Math Ly, cited in AP)Africa: 1,700,000 (Black Book) to 2,000,000 (Fitzgerald; Ethiopia only)Afghanistan: 670,000 (Zucchino) to 2,000,000 (Katz)Eastern Europe: 1,000,000Vietnam: 1,000,000 (Black Book) to 1,670,000 (Rummel, Death by Government)Latin America: 150,000International Movements not in power: 10,000The combined range based on the estimates considered, which derive from scholarly works, works of journalism, memoirs, and government-provided figures, spans from 42,870,000 to 161,990,000. While reasonable people will disagree in good faith on where the true number happens to lie, any number within this range ought to provoke horror and condemnation. And as previously mentioned, these figures estimate only the number of people who perished, not those who were merely tortured, maimed, imprisoned, relocated, expropriated, impoverished, or bereaved. These many millions are victims of communism too. The commonly cited figure of the deaths caused by communist regimes, 100 million, falls midway through this range of estimates. As scholars continue to research the history of the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, and other communist regimes, and as they gain access to previously inaccessible records, the scale of communist crimes will gradually come into even sharper focus.Works ConsultedBrzezinski, Zbigniew. Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the 21st Century. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010.Courtois, Stéphane, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartošek, and Jean-Louis Marolin. The Black Book of Communism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.’Cambodians Recall Massacres.’ AP, May 22, 1987.Fitzgerald, Mary Anne. ‘Tyrant for the taking.’ The Times (London), April 20, 1991.Katz, Lee Michael. ‘Afghanistan’s President is Ousted.’ USA Today, April 17, 1992.Li, Cheng-Chung. ‘The Question of Human Rights on China Mainland. Republic of China: World Anti-Communist League’, 1979.Panin, Dimitri. Translated by John Moore. The Notebooks of Sologdin. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.Rummel, R. J. Death by Government. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1994.Rummel, R. J. Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1917. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1990.Tolz, Vera. ‘Ministry of Security Official Gives New Figures for Stalin’s Victims.’ Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report. May 1, 1992. (The figure of seven million direct executions under Stalin, given by a member of the security services heading a commission for rehabilitation, may be taken as an absolute baseline figure to which should be added the many deaths suffered by labor camp inmates and the deaths preceding and following the Stalin period.)’Top defector says famine has killed over three million Koreans.’ Agence France Presse, March 13, 1999.Vickery, Michael. Cambodia 1975 – 1982. Boston: South End Press, 1984.Zucchino, David. ‘The Americans … They Just Drop Their Bombs and Leave.’ Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2002.Matthew White’s website Necrometrics provides a useful compilation of scholarly estimates of the death toll of major historical events.”
  40. ^ Kotkin 2017: “But a century of communism in power—with holdouts even now in Cuba, North Korea and China—has made clear the human cost of a political program bent on overthrowing capitalism. Again and again, the effort to eliminate markets and private property has brought about the deaths of an astounding number of people. Since 1917—in the Soviet Union, China, Mongolia, Eastern Europe, Indochina, Africa, Afghanistan and parts of Latin America—communism has claimed at least 65 million lives, according to the painstaking research of demographers. Communism’s tools of destruction have included mass deportations, forced labor camps and police-state terror—a model established by Lenin and especially by his successor Joseph Stalin. It has been widely imitated. Though communism has killed huge numbers of people intentionally, even more of its victims have died from starvation as a result of its cruel projects of social engineering.”
  41. ^ Aronson 2003, pp. 222‒245: “But most of these problems pale in significance compared with the book’s opening and closing chapters, which caused enormous controversy and even occasioned a break among The Black Book’s authors. … Courtois’s figures for the Soviet Union, Vietnam, and Latin America go far beyond the estimates of the authors themselves, as does Courtois’s final body count. … But two other theses created considerable consternation and have come to be associated with The Black Book: the figure of 100 million deaths and the parallel with Nazism. They became central in the debate that followed. … In articles and interviews Werth and Margolin pointed out how, in the service of this goal, Courtois distorted and exaggerated: Werth’s total, including the Civil War and the famine of 1932–1933 had been five million less than Courtois’s ‘mythical number,’ while Margolin denied having spoken of the Vietnamese Communists being responsible for one million deaths. Interviewed in Le Monde, Margolin likened Courtois’s effort to ‘militant political activity, indeed, that of a prosecutor amassing charges in the service of a cause, that of a global condemnation of the Communist phenomenon as an essentially criminal phenomenon.’ Both rejected the comparison between Communism and Nazism: … .”
  42. ^ Engel-Di Mauro 2021: “A petulant upsurge in anti-communism is permeating the United States (US) and Canada, as well as countries in the European Union (EU). Its main truncheon is the simultaneously fictitious and slanderous claim that communism caused 100 million victims, a catchy slogan sensationalised through a 1997 propaganda volume titled The Black Book of Communism (henceforth BBC). It suits a more recent China-bashing campaign, where the Communist Party of China is purposefully conflated with communism.”
  43. ^ Courtois 1999, p. xiv: “On the one side, commentators in the liberal Le Monde argue that it is illegitimate to speak of a single Communist movement from Phnom Penh to Paris. Rather, the rampage of the Khmer Rouge is like the ethnic massacres of third-world Rwanda, or the ‘rural’ Communism of Asia is radically different from the ‘urban’ Communism of Europe; or Asian Communism is really only anticolonial nationalism. … [C]onflating sociologically diverse movements is merely a stratgem to obtain a higher body count against Communism, and thus against all the left.”
  44. ^ Engel-Di Mauro 2021: “In this discussion I want to draw attention to the fact that, since the time of the Russian Revolution, capitalist institutions as a whole have caused close to 158 million deaths by waging war alone, with liberal democratic varieties of capitalism contributing at least 56 million of those fatalities. This monstrous impact, unprecedented in the history of humanity, doubtless reaches hundreds of millions more deaths when the centuries of genocides and slavery systems are considered and when murders in the home, at work, in prisons, and in the streets (including by police) are counted as well. Because studies on the level of morbidity associated with capitalist relations are scarce and limited, war-related deaths provide an arguably less assailable set of figures to oppose anti-communist libels.”
  45. ^ Ghodsee & Sehon 2018: “But the problem for the anti-communists is that their general premise can be used as the basis for an equally good argument against capitalism, an argument that the so-called losers of economic transition in eastern Europe would be quick to affirm. The US, a country based on a free-market capitalist ideology, has done many horrible things: the enslavement of millions of Africans, the genocidal eradication of the Native Americans, the brutal military actions taken to support pro-Western dictatorships, just to name a few. The British Empire likewise had a great deal of blood on its hands: we might merely mention the internment camps during the second Boer War and the Bengal famine. This is not mere ‘whataboutism’, because the same intermediate premise necessary to make their anti-communist argument now works against capitalism: … .”
  46. ^ Jahanbegloo 2014, pp. 117–118: “Most interesting, however, is Finlay’s argument that Marxist thought, beyond justifying and excusing the use of violence, also legitimates it. Finlay (ibid. p. 378) argues that this is done by ‘undermining existing moral norms and suggesting that new ones will be created to suit a new proletarian order.’ Marx argues that norms and ethics are determined by the dominating class of the time, as can be illustrated in Lenin’s statement that ‘Honesty is a bourgeoisie virtue’, meaning that honesty is crucial to the existence of bourgeoisie, as other virtues such as loyalty and obedience were necessary virtues during the reign of the feudal aristocracy. This impacts the concept of justice in war dramatically. As there is the assumption that a new social order is to be created, along with a new set of moral and ethical codes, then the current ones may be discarded. Therefore, Finley (ibid.) states that it would be conceivable for revolutionaries to commit atrocious crimes in bringing about a socialist system, with the belief that their crimes will be retroactively absolved by the new system of ethics put in place by the proletariat. Finley also addresses an alternative opinion, that of Shlomo Avineri, who believes that this may be a non-issue when one takes into account the universality of the proletariat. This universality means that it has no active class-based or sectarian interest, or, rather, that its interests represent those of all society. Its major interest is simply to ‘eliminate all other special interests on the basis of which it suffers oppression’ and is an entirely negative entirely (ibid., p. 379). Therefore, our conception of ethics and morality – the product of a capitalist society – is inaccurate. Being based on the interest of the bourgeoisie rather than a true and authentic reflection of the ethics of a universal class, its contravention is not something to be lamented. Finley understands Avineri as drawing two conclusions. First, that:whatever the bourgeoisie with its individualistic and legalistic conception of political ethics and legality has to say about the morality of violence is likely to be invalid since it reflects the particular class interests and therefore the perverted humanism of its proponents. (Ibid., p. 370)and, moreover, that only ethical claims of the proletariat are valid, insofar as they are the true reflections of ‘the perspective of the last social class, at its final revolutionary stage of oppression’ (ibid.). It is only then that morals and ethics can be created authentically, and all other systems ought to be considered as arbitrary. However, this creates a major difficulty for Finlay and, as Marx has inspired many other theorists (Žižek, Fanon, Sorel, etc.) this is a difficulty which he identifies in each of their works as well. Understanding that revolutionary violence is carried out in the hope of future absolution based on a hypothetical social order able to craft a universal system of ethics, Finlay sees this as carte blanche for revolutionists to carry out any action, however atrocious, so long as it helps bring about this imminent revolution. Finlay’s ‘permissive doctrine’ is a ‘philosophical framework within which the possibility of using violence is validated but without setting any clear limits to how much violence can be used and against whom’. Finlay also argue that there is a tendency for excess, as Fanon, Sorel and Žižek all see the use of violence as beneficial, since it may act as a spark for the revolution. Finlay sees the total legitimation of violence in revolution, with no principle of restriction, to be both dangerous and unethical.”
  47. ^ Jahanbegloo 2014, pp. 120–121: “Singh makes a principled argument: that Marx saw the use of violence, even when it is avoidable, as required insofar as that it has a purging quality, believing that only by using violence can all elements of the previous regime be eradicated. Moreover, Singh (ibid., p. 14) considers Marx’s references to the use of bourgeoisie democratic institutions to bring about social change only as ‘hinting to the possibility of the working class coming into power, in England, through universal suffrage’. Furthermore, he quotes Engels in a letter addressed to the Communist Committee in Brussels in October 1846. In this letter, Engels states that there cannot be any means of carrying out the communist agenda ‘other than a democratic revolution by force’ (ibid. p. 10). Singh, however, does acknowledge the desire in Marx to avoid a bloody revolution. Singh (ibid. p. 11) notes that most Marxist writing that alluded to the possibility of this transition being carried out peacefully took place before the events of 1844-48, which ‘showed that a peaceful change was not even remotely possible’. After 1848, Singh notes a return to advocating a violent revolution due to what Singh identifies as the ‘practical considerations’ of being unable to overcome the existing obstacles to a peaceful transition. Singh (ibid. p. 13) writes that, in 1848, Marx published an article titled The Victory of Counter-Revolution in Vienna, where he states ‘there is only one means by which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated – and that is by revolutionary terror’.”
  48. ^ The Magyar Struggle: “Among all the large and small nations of Austria, only three standard-bearers of progress took an active part in history, and still retain their vitality — the Germans, the Poles and the Magyars. Hence they are now revolutionary. All the other large and small nationalities and peoples are destined to perish before long in the revolutionary world storm. For that reason they are now counter-revolutionary. … There is no country in Europe which does not have in some corner or other one or several ruined fragments of peoples, the remnant of a former population that was suppressed and held in bondage by the nation which later became the main vehicle of historical development. These relics of a nation mercilessly trampled under foot in the course of history, as Hegel says, these residual fragments of peoples always become fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character, just as their whole existence in general is itself a protest against a great historical revolution. Such, in Scotland, are the Gaels, the supporters of the Stuarts from 1640 to 1745. Such, in France, are the Bretons, the supporters of the Bourbons from 1792 to 1800. Such, in Spain, are the Basques, the supporters of Don Carlos. Such, in Austria, are the pan-Slavist Southern Slavs, who are nothing but the residual fragment of peoples, resulting from an extremely confused thousand years of development. … The Magyars are not yet defeated. But if they fall, they will fall gloriously, as the last heroes of the 1848 revolution, and only for a short time. Then for a time the Slav counter-revolution will sweep down on the Austrian monarchy with all its barbarity, and the camarilla will see what sort of allies it has. But at the first victorious uprising of the French proletariat, which Louis Napoleon is striving with all his might to conjure up, the Austrian Germans and Magyars will be set free and wreak a bloody revenge on the Slav barbarians. The general war which will then break out will smash this Slav Sonderbund and wipe out all these petty hidebound nations, down to their very names. The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.”
  49. ^ Revel 2009, pp. 94–95: “Already among the most authentic sources of socialist thought, among the earliest doctrinarians, are found justifications for ethnic cleansing and genocide, along with the totalitarian state, all of which were held up as legitimate and even necessary weapons for the success and preservation of the revolution. Socialism’s canonical principles were not at all violated by Stalin or Mao when they implemented their murderous policies; on the contrary, Stalin and Mao were scrupulous in applying these principles with perfect fidelity to the letter and the spirit of the doctrine – as has been rigorously established by the Cambridge scholar George Watson in his treatise on The Lost Literature of Socialism. In the modern historiography of socialism, an essential part of the theory has been quite effectively suppressed. The true believers, while claiming socialism’s founding fathers as their mentors, very early on dispensed with any thorough study of them, even of Marx himself. And today, the key texts seem to enjoy the rare privilege of being understood by everyone, without having been read in their entirety by anyone – not even by socialism’s adversaries, who for fear of reprisal are likely to quell their own curiosity. (History for the most part is a selective rearrangement of the facts, and the history of ideas does not escape this general law.) Study of the unexpurgated texts, writes Watson, shows us that “Genocide was an idea unique to socialism.” Friedrich Engels, in an article penned in 1849 for the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, a periodical edited by his friend Karl Marx, called for the extermination of the Hungarians, who had risen up against Austria. He had a low opinion also of Serbs and other Slavic peoples, and of the Basques, the Bretons and the Scottish Highlanders – all problems that needed to be eliminated. Three-quarters of a century later, in his On Lenin and Leninism (1924), Stalin would recommend study of Engels’ influential piece. Marx himself, in “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany,” published in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung in 1852, asked how “those moribund peoples, the Bohemians, the Carinthians, the Dalmatians etc.,” might be disposed of.”
  50. ^ Valentino 2005, pp. 91, 93: “Communism has a bloody record, but most regimes that have described themselves as communist or have been described as such by others have not engaged in mass killing. In addition to shedding light on why some communist states have been among the most violent regimes in history, therefore, I also seek to explain why other communist countries have avoided this level of violence. … I argue that radical communist regimes have proven such prodigious killers primarily because the social change they sought to bring about have resulted in the sudden and nearly complete material and political dispossession of millions of people. These regimes practiced social engineering of the highest order. It is the revolutionary desire to bring about the rapid and radical transformation of society that distinguishes radical communist regimes from all other forms of government, including less violent communist regimes and noncommunist, authoritarian governments.”
  51. ^ Semelin 2009, p. 331: “Dynamics of destruction/subjugation were also developed systematically by twentieth-century communist regimes, but against a very different domestic political background. The destruction of the very foundations of the former society (and consequently the men and women who embodied it) reveals the determination of the ruling elites to build a new one at all costs. The ideological conviction of leaders promoting such a political scheme is thus decisive. Nevertheless, it would be far too simplistic an interpretation to assume that the sole purpose of inflicting these various forms of violence on civilians could only aim at instilling a climate of terror in this ‘new society’. In fact, they are part of a broader whole, i.e. the spectrum of social engineering techniques implememted in order to transform a society completely. There can be no doubt that it is this utopia of a classless society which drives that kind of revolutionary project. The plan for political and social reshaping will thus logically claim victims in all strata of society. And through this process, communist systems emerging in the twentieth century ended up destroying their own populations, not because they planned to annihilate them as such, but because they aimed to restructure the ‘social body’ from top to bottom, even if that meant purging it and recarving it to suit their new Promethean political imaginaire.”
  52. ^ Chirot & McCauley 2010, p. 42: “The modern search for a perfect, utopian society, whether racially or ideologically pure is very similar to the much older striving for a religiously pure society free of all polluting elements, and these are, in turn, similar to that other modern utopian notion – class purity. Dread of political and economic pollution by the survival of antagonistic classes has been for the most extreme communist leaders what fear of racial pollution was for Hitler. There, also, material explanations fail to address the extent of the killings, gruesome tortures, fantastic trails, and attempts to wipe out whole categories of people that occurred in Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia. The revolutionary thinkers who formed and led communist regimes were not just ordinary intellectuals. They had to be fanatics in the true sense of that word. They were so certain of their ideas that no evidence to the contrary could change their minds. Those who came to doubt the rightness of their ways were eliminated, or never achieved power. The element of religious certitude found in prophetic movements was as important as their Marxist science in sustaining the notion that their vision of socialism could be made to work. This justified the ruthless dehumanization of their enemies, who could be suppressed because they were ‘objectively’ and ‘historically’ wrong. Furthermore, if events did not work out as they were supposed to, then that was because class enemies, foreign spies and saboteurs, or worst of all, internal traitors were wrecking the plan. Under no circumstances could it be admitted that the vision itself might be unworkable, because that meant capitulation to the forces of reaction. The logic of the situation in times of crisis then demanded that these ‘bad elements’ (as they were called in Maoist China) be killed, deported, or relegated to a permanently inferior status. That is very close to saying that the community of God, or the racially pure volksgemeinschaft could only be guaranteed if the corrupting elements within it were eliminated (Courtois et al. 1999).”
  53. Jump up to:a b Mann 2005, pp. 318, 321: “All accounts of 20th-century mass murder include the Communist regimes. Some call their deeds genocide, though I shall not. I discuss the three that caused the most terrible human losses: Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia. These saw themselves as belonging to a single socialist family, and all referred to a Marxist tradition of development theory. They murderously cleansed in similar ways, though to different degrees. Later regimes consciously adapted their practices to the perceived successes and failures of earlier ones. The Khmer Rouge used China and the Soviet Union (and Vietnam and North Korea) as reference societies, while China used the Soviet Union. All addressed the same basic problem – how to apply a revolutionary vision of a future industrial society to a present agrarian one. These two dimensions, of time and agrarian backwardness, help account for many of the differences. … Ordinary party members were also ideologically driven, believing that in order to create a new socialist society, they must lead in socialist zeal. Killings were often popular, the rank-and-file as keen to exceed killing quotas as production quotas. The pervasive role of the party inside the state also meant that authority structures were not fully institutionalized but factionalized, even chaotic, as revisionists studying the Soviet Union have argued. Both centralized control and mass party factionalism were involved in the killings.”
  54. ^ Tismăneanu 2012, p. 14: “However, a nuance emphasized by Snyder offers a caveat to the comparison between these two extremisms. In fact, Stalinism did not transform mass murder into political history, as happened in Nazi Germany. For Stalin, ‘mass murder could never be anything more than a successful defense of socialism, or an element in a story of progress toward socialism.’ But, to take Snyder’s point further, Communism, like Fascism, undoubtedly founded its alternative, illiberal modernity upon extermination. The Communist project, in such countries as the USSR, China, Cuba, Romania, or Albania, was based precisely on the conviction that certain social groups were irretrievably alien and deservedly murdered.”
  55. ^ Bellamy 2012, p. 950: “But it is not simply the number of victims that distinguishes communist from non-communist mass killing in the Cold War—though that in itself is important to acknowledge. The most important difference for our purposes lies in the fact that amongst the perpetrators and their supporters there was very little recognition that the deliberate extermination of large numbers of civilians might be morally problematic, let alone prohibited. Where there was criticism of this litany of mass murder, it almost always came from outside the communist world. The principal reason for the failure of civilian immunity to moderate the behavior of communist governments during the Cold War was the persistence and spread of communism’s ideology of selective extermination, and its general acceptance within the communist world as a legitimator of mass killing. As I argued earlier, this ‘anti-civilian ideology’ identifies whole groups as being outside the protection of noncombatant immunity and therefore liable for legitimate extermination. The basic communist variant of this ideology was first developed and applied by Stalin and held that certain socioeconomic or national groups or political attitudes were anti-communist and that group members were ‘enemies of the people’ who could be legitimately destroyed. Although each of the communist regimes that massacred large numbers of civilians during the Cold War developed their own distinctive account of selective extermination, they all shared the basic idea that their targets—identified as whole groups—had by their identity, actions, or thoughts, placed themselves outside legal or moral protection.85 Thus, in contrast to most Western or anti-communist perpetrators of mass atrocities during the Cold War, communist perpetrators tended to argue that their victims were ‘criminals’ or ‘enemies of the people’ and therefore beyond the protection of civilian immunity.”
  56. ^ Katz 2013, p. 267: “Mass Death under Communist Rule and the Limits of ‘Otherness’ Steven T. Katz Boston University Mass death is not a new reality. Over the centuries this tragic phenomenon has manifest itself in many times and places. An integral feature of this history of large-scale violence is what I call, ‘otherness.’ That is, the victimizer stigmatizes and stereotypes the victim in various ways in order to legitimate the violence that is then unleashed. What is worthy of note is that this distancing process takes many forms. The historical record reveals cases where the ‘Other’ is created on the grounds of class, sex, color, race, religion, ethnicity, and nationality. So, for example, the majority of Stalin’s victims were identified as ‘class enemies.’ The most notorious example of such class war was directed at the Kulaks, though his entire massive campaign against the peasantry as represented by his forced drive to collectivize agriculture, was based on the notion of class (and his desire for national modernization). Likewise, the extraordinary event that was Kampuchea was defined by the application of a radical communist ideology in which class was everything. Nationalism — connected usually to other factors such as religion, ethnicity, race, or color — has also played its part in justifying oppression and death — as a decisive ingredient in Stalin’s exile of the minority nationalities during World War II and in his assault on the Ukraine in the early 1930s.”
  57. ^ Shaw 2015a, p. 115: “In these contexts, democratic impulses were snuffed out, and foundations were made for the centralization of power in the hands of Stalin, who in turn proclaimed the new nationalist doctrine of ‘socialism in one country’. Thereafter, nationalist ideas were at the heart of many mass killings by Communist states, both in genocide and in war. As Stalinist parties seized power in Asia and the Balkans after 1945, they each proclaimed their own national ideology. Each ‘great leader’ claimed to represent his fatherland, and many were prepared to kill extensively in the leader’s name. After this, nationalist militarism became the model for revolutionary movements across the Third World. Whatever other ideological elements and alliances the insurgent forces claimed, their killing was invariably in the name of national liberation. The ‘killing fields’ of Cambodia (episode VII) represented the nadir of this kind of nationalist Communism. In the former Soviet and Yugoslav areas after 1989, many former Communist elites reinvented themselves as ethnic nationalists. In some cases, they launched genocidal wars in the name of their new creed, to renew the foundations of their power. Nationalism made democratization a sick joke in war zones – the incentive to manufacture ethnically homogenous electorates became one of the driving forces of expulsion and slaughter (episode VIII).”
  58. ^ Rosefielde 2010, p. xvi: “The story that emerges from the exercise is edifying. It reveals that the conditions for the Red Holocaust were rooted in Stalin’s, Kim’s, Mao’s, Ho’s and Pol Pot’s siege-mobilized terror-command economic systems, not in Marx’s utopian vision or other pragmatic communist transition mechanisms. Terror-command was chosen among other reasons because of legitimate fears about the long-term viability of terror-free command, and the ideological risks of market communism. The internal contradictions of communism confronted leaders with a predicament that could only have been efficiently resolved by acknowledging communism’s inferiority and changing course. Denial offered two unhappy options: one bloody, the other dreary, and history records that more often than not, communist rulers chose the worst option. Tens of millions were killed in vain; a testament to the triumph of ruthless hope over dispassionate reason that proved more durable than Hitler’s and Hirohito’s racism. These findings are likely to withstand the test of time, but are only a beginning, opening up a vast new field for scientific inquiry as scholars gradually gain access to archives in North Korea, China, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.”
  59. ^ Krain 1997, p. 334: “In addition, many studies have documented the effects of wars and civil wars on general preconditions for genocides and politicides. For example, Melson (1992) argues that revolutions create the conditions that allow genocidal movements and permit their leaders to come to power in the first place and impose their radical ideology, thereby legitimizing mass murder in the eyes of the populace by making it state sponsored. Following the work done by Laswell (1962) on the ‘garrison state,’ Gurr (1988) documents the establishment and expansion of the secret police and other institutions of the ‘coercive state’ as a direct result of wars and civil wars. Eisenstadt (1978) argues that hostile international pressures lead to greater isolation of the elites, which in turn leads to an increased probability that these elites will use repression. Some preliminary quantitative work has verified this hypothesis.”
  60. ^ Jones 2010, p. 126: “This civil war, one of the most destructive of the twentieth century, lasted until 1921 and claimed an estimated nine million lives on all sides. Its ‘influence . . . on the whole course of subsequent history, and on Stalinism, cannot possibly be overestimated. It was in the civil war that Stalin and men like Stalin emerged as leaders, while others became accustomed to harshness, cruelty, terror.’ Red forces imposed “War Communism,’ an economic policy that repealed peasants’ land seizures, forcibly stripped the countryside of grain to feed city dwellers, and suppressed private commerce. All who opposed these policies were ‘enemies of the people.’ ‘This is the hour of truth,’ Lenin wrote in a letter to a comrade in mid-1918. ‘It is of supreme importance that we encourage and make use of the energy of mass terror directed against the counterrevolutionaries.’ The Cheka, the first incarnation of the Soviet secret police (later the NKVD and finally the KGB), responded with gusto. Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders may have viewed mass terror as a short-term measure but its widespread use belies claims that it was Stalin’s invention.”
  61. ^ Montagnes & Wolton 2019, p. 27: “Mass purges further seem to have occurred during, arguably, the most personalist phase, to borrow Geddes’s (2003) terminology, of the communist regimes in the USSR and China. We see two possible complementary reasons for this. According to Geddes (2003), personalist leaders control appointments, potentially raising the congruence of new agents, and the security apparatus, potentially reducing the cost of carrying out the purge. Purges may then have almost disappeared in China and the USSR following the deaths of Stalin and Mao because of the subsequent return to a form of collective leadership to avoid a repeat of past excesses (Levytsky, 1972; Teiwes, 2017). Obviously, much more needs to be learned about why autocrats decide to start a mass purge. However, our framework can be seen as a possible starting point for a more general theory of coercive instruments in autocracy.”
  62. ^ Žižek 2006: “This ‘cosmic perspective’ is for Mao not just an irrelevant philosophical caveat; it has precise ethico-political consequences. When Mao high-handedly dismisses the threat of the atomic bomb, he is not down-playing the scope of the danger — he is fully aware that nuclear war may led to the extinction of humanity as such, so, to justify his defiance, he has to adopt the ‘cosmic perspective’ from which the end of life on Earth ‘would hardly mean anything to the universe as a whole’:The United States cannot annihilate the Chinese nation with its small stack of atom bombs. Even if the U.S. atom bombs were so powerful that, when dropped on China, they would make a hole right through the earth, or even blow it up, that would hardly mean anything to the universe as a whole, though it might be a major event for the solar system.This ‘cosmic perspective’ also grounds Mao’s dismissive attitude towards the human costs of economic and political endeavors. If one is to believe Mao’s latest biography, he caused the greatest famine in history by exporting food to Russia to buy nuclear and arms industries: 38 million people were starved and slave-driven to death in 1958-61. Mao knew exactly what was happening, saying: ‘half of China may well have to die.’ This is instrumental attitude at its most radical: killing as part of a ruthless attempt to realize goal, reducing people to disposable means – and what one should bear in mind is that the Nazi holocaust was NOT the same: the killing of the Jews not part of a rational strategy, but a self-goal, a meticulously planned ‘irrational’ excess (recall the deportation of the last Jews from Greek islands in 1944, just before the German retreat, or the massive use of trains for transporting Jews instead of war materials in 1944). This is why Heidegger is wrong when he reduces holocaust to the industrial production of corpses: it was NOT that, Stalinist Communism was that.”
  63. ^ Conquest 2007, p. xvi: “Exact numbers may never be known with complete certainty, but the total of deaths caused by the whole range of Soviet regime’s terrors can hardly be lower than some fifteen million.”
  64. ^ Yakovlev 2002, p. 234: “My own many years and experience in the rehabilitation of victims of political terror allow me to assert that the number of people in the USSR who were killed for political motives or who died in prisons and camps during the entire period of Soviet power totaled 20 to 25 million. And unquestionably one must add those who died of famine—more than 5.5 million during the civil war and more than 5 million during the 1930s.”
  65. ^ Wheatcroft 1999, pp. 315‒345: “During 1921–53, the number of sentences was (political convictions): sentences, 4,060,306; death penalties, 799,473; camps and prisons, 2,634,397; exile, 413,512; other, 215,942. In addition, during 1937‒52 there were 14,269,753 non-political sentences, among them 34,228 death penalties, 2,066,637 sentences for 0–1 year, 4,362,973 for 2–5 years, 1,611,293 for 6–10 years, and 286,795 for more than 10 years. Other sentences were non-custodial.”
  66. ^ Healey 2018, p. 1049: “New studies using declassified Gulag archives have provisionally established a consensus on mortality and ‘inhumanity.’ The tentative consensus says that once secret records of the Gulag administration in Moscow show a lower death toll than expected from memoir sources, generally between 1.5 and 1.7 million (out of 18 million who passed through) for the years from 1930 to 1953. Moreover, as Alexopoulos summarizes, we have found no ‘plan of destruction’ of prisoners (7), no statement of official intent to kill them in these records. Instead, historians have found that prisoner releases significantly predominated over deaths in the Gulag, with Alexopoulos’s own earlier work on amnesty a leading statement of this view. Yet her encounter with the Gulag medical-sanitary service’s Moscow archive ‘surprised’ Alexopoulos (1), and she now attempts to challenge the emergent scholarly consensus, with uneven success.”
  67. ^ Snyder 2011: “All in all, the Germans deliberately killed about 11 million noncombatants, a figure that rises to more than 12 million if foreseeable deaths from deportation, hunger, and sentences in concentration camps are included. For the Soviets during the Stalin period, the analogous figures are approximately six million and nine million.”
  68. ^ Montefiore 2005, p. 649: “Perhaps 20 million had been killed; 28 million deported, of whom 18 million had slaved in the Gulags.”
  69. ^ Volkogonov 1999, p. 139: “Between 1929 and 1953 the state created by Lenin and set in motion by Stalin deprived 21.5 million Soviet citizens of their lives.”
  70. ^ Gellately 2007, p. 584: “More recent estimations of the Soviet-on-Soviet killing have been more ‘modest’ and range between ten and twenty million.”
  71. ^ Brent 2008: “Estimations on the number of Stalin’s victims over his twenty-five year reign, from 1928 to 1953, vary widely, but 20 million is now considered the minimum.”
  72. ^ Rosefielde 2010, p. 17: “We now know as well beyond a reasonable doubt that there were more than 13 million Red Holocaust victims 1929–53, and this figure could rise above 20 million.”
  73. ^ Kleveman 2003: In one estimate, based on a report by Lavrenti Beria to Stalin, 150,000 of 478,479 deported Ingush and Chechen people (or 31.3 percent) died within the first four years of the resettlement.; Naimark 2001: Another scholar puts the number of deaths at 22.7 percent: Extrapolating from NKVD records, 113,000 Ingush and Chechens died (3,000 before deportation, 10,000 during deportation, and 100,000 after resettlement) in the first three years of the resettlement out of 496,460 total deportees.; Mawdsley 2003: A third source says a quarter of the 650,000 deported Chechens, Ingush, Karachais and Kalmyks died within four years of resettlement.; Fischer & Leggett 2006: However, estimates of the number of deportees sometimes varies widely. Two scholars estimated the number of Chechen and Ingush deportees at 700,000, which would halve the percentage estimates of deaths.
  74. ^ BBC 2008b: “Латвія стала 19-ю країною світу, яка визнала Голодомор ґеноцидом українського народу. Литва й Естонія ухвалили такі декларації раніше.” (translation: ‘Latvia became the 19th country in the world that recognized the Holodomor as the genocide of the Ukrainian people. Lithuania and Estonia have adopted such declarations earlier.’); Korrespondent 2008a: “Латвия присоеденилась к еще 15 странам, уже признавшим Голодомор в Украине геноцидом украинского народа. Декларация подготовлена в ответ на призыв Украины к международному сообществу признать и осудить Голодомор – голод на Украине 1930-х годов прошлого века. Как сообщалось, в феврале Мексика и Парагвай признали Голодомор 1932-1933 годов актом геноцида украинского народа.” (translation: ‘Latvia has joined 15 more countries that have already recognized the Holodomor in Ukraine as the genocide of the Ukrainian people. The declaration was prepared in response to Ukraine’s appeal to the international community to recognize and condemn the Holodomor — the famine in Ukraine of the 1930s of the last century. As reported, in February, Mexico and Paraguay recognized the Holodomor of 1932–1933 as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.’); Korrespondent 2008b: “Сусідні з Латвією Литва та Естонія визнали Голодомор в Україні геноцидом проти українського народу ще на початку 1990-х років. Загалом, Голодомор 1932-33 рр. геноцидом українців визнали понад 10 держав світу. Серед них США, Канада, Естонія, Аргентина, Австралія, Італія, Угорщина, Литва, Грузія, Польща, Еквадор і відтепер Латвія.” (translation: ‘Neighboring Latvia Lithuania and Estonia recognized the Holodomor in Ukraine as a genocide against the Ukrainian people in the early 1990s. In general, the Holodomor of 1932-33 has been identified by more than 10 states of the world as a genocide of Ukrainians. Among them are the USA, Canada, Estonia, Argentina, Australia, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania, Georgia, Poland, Ecuador and now Latvia.’).”
  75. Jump up to:a b Ellman 2002, pp. 1151–1172: “The best estimate that can currently be made of the number of repression deaths in 1937–38 is the range 950,000–1.2 million, i.e., about a million. This estimate should be used by historians, teachers, and journalists concerned with twentieth century Russian—and world—history.”
  76. ^ Fenby 2008, p. 351: “Mao’s responsibility for the extinction of anywhere from 40 to 70 million lives brands him as a mass killer greater than Hitler or Stalin, his indifference to the suffering and the loss of humans breathtaking.”
  77. ^ Su 2003, pp. 25–26: “In this study I have documented the patterns of mass killings in three Chinese provinces in the demobilization period of the Cultural Revolution. I also have also sought explanations for this historical tragedy by examining the role of the state. I have presented the findings from a few different angles. Now it is time to take a look at these findings together to formulate my central argument: The mass killings were rooted in the paradox of state sponsorship and state failure. … Mass killings occurred in the three provinces; in two provinces they were a widespread phenomenon. That this finding is from a published source sanctioned by the Chinese government unequivocally supports similar claims made by previous case studies. By examining the mass killings across more than 180 counties, with information from the previous case studies, I am able to uncover the following patterns. First, the mass killings varied greatly across three provinces, while within one province, there appears to be a great degree of uniformity. This pattern indicates that the occurrence of mass killings was more germane to province-specific political conditions rather than national politics as a whole. I tentatively attribute the provincial difference to the different patterns of mass factional alignment vis-à-vis the governmental authorities in the province. In Hubei, the Rebel Faction, having had prevailed in the previous conflict, was incorporated into the new government. In contrast, in Guangxi and Guangdong, the Rebel Factions continued to be the outsider, and the two provinces were more prone to use violence as a weapon against the Rebel Factions. An alternative explanation for the difference is that Hubei was geographically, and by inference, politically closer to Beijing, hence the province tended to have more restraint against violence. Second, the mass killings concentrate in the months after most counties established revolutionary committees, but in the time when the provincial capitals were still entangled in mass factionalism. The peaks of mass killings coincided with two announcements from the party center in July 1968 banning factional armed battles and disbanding mass organizations. The finding that historical timing was crucial factor helps us understand the nature and source of mass killings. The fact that most of them occurred after the new governments were put in place indicates that mass killings were the result of the repression by the local state rather than the result of conflicts between independent mass groups. The fact that they coincided with the crackdown of the oppositional mass organizations in the provincial capital indicates that the provincial authorities promoted the rhetoric of violence, although extreme violence in local communes and villages may not be what they intended. Third, mass killings were primarily a rural phenomenon. In other words, they occurred not in provincial capitals or county seats, but in communes and villages. This is in stark contrast to earlier mass movements of the Cultural Revolution such as campaigns against intellectuals and government officials and the factional street battles which mostly occurred in urban settings. The imagery of top-down diffusion does not apply to the mass killings. This suggests that the class struggle rhetoric disseminated from urban centers found an expression in extreme violence in rural townships and villages, possibly due to the failure of the state to hold the action of the lowest bureaucrats accountable. This explanation is supported by another piece of evidence—the poorer and remoter counties were more likely to have mass killings. Fourth, the perpetrators were the local leaders and their mass followers (e.g., militia members). The more party members in the local community, the more likely there were mass killings, likely because the local government in these communities enjoyed a stronger organizational base to mobilize the extreme violence. Fifth, other things being equal (i.e., controlling for distance, county revenue, and party membership) counties with a significant presence of ethnic minority were not more likely to have mass killings. Similarly, population density, prior armed battle conflict, and the compositions of the county leadership have no association to the likelihood of mass killings. These findings to some extent eliminate alternative explanations to the argument fashioned here that stresses the role of the state.”
  78. ^ Su 2011, pp. 98–100: “The so-called class enemy as a category of the rural population had been in place for about two decades after 1949, but not until the Cultural Revolution did it become a victim group for eliminationist killing. This development cannot be explained by the communist doctrine of a classless society because the doctrine as previously practiced in China, for the most part, was not to create this society by physical elimination. Neither can it be explained by the notion that previously propertied classes posed an objective threat, hence that their elimination was imperative. This review of the origin of class enemy demonstrates that its creation, maintenance, and treatment all served the politics of the time. Mass-killing scholars who draw on political violence in communist societies for comparison, however, often take a realist view of the concept of class enemy (or ‘people’s enemy’ in the case of the Soviet Union). That is, they write as though the opposition to the new communist system was real, with class enemy identifying a broad category of individuals who represent plausible or incipient opposition or resistance to the state. … After the Land Reform movement, China was transformed into a classless society, if defined only in terms of property. From this classless society, the state created an artificial divide between ‘the people’ and the ‘class enemy.’ The toothless enemy class was never designed to be eliminated, either by murder or other means. In the first place, the numbers of class enemies were inflated. Quotas were established and sanctions were applied to local leadership if localities did not have a certain percentage of landlords and rich peasants; the numbers were always greater than their initial landed status would warrant. To underscore the artificiality and arbitrariness of this designation, a few years after Mao’s death, class enemies were eliminated as a political class – not by murder but rather by declaration – once the new leadership decided that the categories and campaigns had become counterproductive. Therefore, the class divides were imposed and maintained by the state and perpetuated through state-sponsored mass campaigns. What purpose, then, did the existence of a constructed enemy class serve? The answer links this artificial class divide to two main political tasks: mobilizing mass compliance and resolving elite conflict. These linkages are the key to understanding why the system deepened the politically constructed divide in times of political crisis. Its elastic nature, then, is the key to understanding why the class categorization could take on a genocidal dimension under extraordinary circumstances.”
  79. ^ Etcheson 2005, p. 78: “Were the Cambodian people somehow Pol Pot’s ‘willing executioners,’ with the violence of the Khmer Rouge regime reflecting an underlying trait of the Cambodian people, historically unique to the time and place it occurred? Or did the violence of the Khmer Rouge regime emanate from some more broadly distributed ideological origin, therefore rendering it amenable to comparison? Perhaps the Khmer Rouge mass killing arose from the same tenets of communism that brought about the mass killing of Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s China but that was, by absolute numbers, much less evil. Or perhaps the killing in Cambodia can be understood as a response to the perceived threat from Vietnam, as the Khmer Rouge themselves have argued at some length. These same themes and issues lay at the heart of the Historikerstreit, and they are also part and parcel of genocide studies. In the scholarly literature on the Khmer Rouge regime of Democratic Kampuchea, there have been two principal schools of thought regarding the nature of the violence that took so many lives in such a short period of time. One school of thought holds that the primary locus of the violence was local and that it was largely the result of the spontaneous excesses of a vengeful, undisciplined peasant army. A prominent proponent of this school of thought is Michael Vickery. A second school of thought holds that the locus of the violence was centralized and that it was largely the result of a carefully planned and centrally controlled security apparatus. Several observers have proposed this explanation of the violence in the Democratic Kampuchea regime, including, for example, the recently retired U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, Kenneth Quinn. It can be argued, however, that until recently there was an inadequate amount of data to make an unambiguous determination of the question. A wide range of new evidence uncovered by the Documentation Center of Cambodia over the course of the last ten years has done much to resolve this controversy. In particular, data on the frequency, distribution, and origin of mass graves, combined with data gleaned from newly discovered Khmer Rouge internal security documents, have given us new insight into the question of the economy of violence within Democratic Kampuchea. The data lead inexorably to the conclusion that most of the violence was carried out pursuant to orders from the highest political authorities of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. In this chapter, I briefly review some of the new evidence that so strongly suggests this new and well-documented conclusion.”
  80. ^ Harff & Gurr 1988, p. 369: “Revolutionary mass murder: the most common type of politicide (following repressive politicide), with ten examples in our data set. In all these instances new regimes have come to power committed to bringing about fundamental social, economic, and political change. Their enemies usually are defined by variants of Marxist-Leninist ideology: initially their victims include the officials and most prominent supporters of the old regime and landowners and wealthy peasants. Later they may include-as they did in Kampuchea and in China during the Cultural Revolution-cadres who lack revolutionary zeal. In Laos and Ethiopia they have included ordinary peasants in regions which actively or passively resisted revolutionary policies. Most Marxist-Leninist regimes which came to power through protracted armed struggle in the postwar period perpetrated one or more politicides, though of vastly different magnitudes. The worst offender was the Pol Pot regime in Kampuchea; the second worst, the Chinese Communist regime.”
  81. ^ Jambrek 2008, p. 156: “Most of the mass killings were carried out from May to July 1945; among the victims were mostly the ‘returned’ (or ‘home-captured’) Home guards and prisoners from other Yugoslav provinces. In the following months, up to January 1946 when the Constitution of the Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia was passed and OZNA had to hand the camps over to the organs of the Ministry of the Interior, those killings were followed by mass killing of Germans, Italians and Slovenes suspected of collaborationism and anti-communism. Individual secret killings were carried out at later dates as well. The decision to ‘annihilate’ opponents must had been adopted in the closest circles of Yugoslav state leadership, and the order was certainly issued by the Supreme Commander of the Yugoslav Army Josip Broz — Tito, although it is not known when or in what form.”
  82. ^ Vu 2010a, p. 103: “Clearly Vietnamese socialism followed a moderate path relative to China. … Yet the Vietnamese ‘land reform’ campaign … testified that Vietnamese communists could be as radical and murderous as their comrades elsewhere. In May 1953, on the eve of the campaign, the VWP Politburo chaired by Ho authorized the execution of landlords by a ratio of one person for every thousand people, or 0.1 percent of the population.5 … 5. ‘Chi thi cua Bo Chinh Tri’ (Politburo’s Decree), May 4, 1953 (Dang Cong San Viet Nam, hereafter DCSVN, 2001, 14: 201). Based on other sources, Edwin Moise (2001, 7-9) accepts an estimate close to 15,000 executions. This was about 0.1 percent of the total population of 13.5 million in North Vietnam in 1955.”
  83. ^ Valentino 2005, p. 223: “The pattern of Soviet military operations strongly suggests that population relocation was a significant part of Soviet counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. Although direct evidence of Soviet intentions is limited, most analysts and observers of the war have concluded that the Soviets adopted an intentional policy of attacking villages in areas of high guerrilla activity in the effort to force the population into flight. Free-fire zones were established in depopulated areas, permitting Soviet troops to shoot anything that moved. In addition to killing tens of thousands in attacks on villages, this policy eventually produced one of the most massive refugee movements in modern history. Approximately 5 million people out of a total prewar population of between 15.5 and 17 million had fled the country by the early 1990s, the great majority across the border to Pakistan. Two million more were displaced within Afghanistan. Many refugees died during the difficult journey over mountain passes to Pakistan.”
  84. ^ Courtois 1999, p. 9: “As for the great famine in Ukraine in 1932-33, which resulted from the rural population’s resistance to forced collectivization, 6 million died in a period of several months. Here, the genocide of a ‘class’ may well be tantamount to the genocide of a ‘race’ — the deliberate starvation of a child of a Ukrainian kulak as a result of the famine causes by Stalin’s regime ‘is equal to’ the starvation of a Jewish child in the Warsaw ghetto as a result of the famine caused by the Nazi regime. Such arguments in no way detract from the unique nature of Auschwitz — the mobilization of leading-edge technological resources and their use in an ‘industrial process’ involving the construction of an ‘extermination factory,’ the use of gas, and cremation. However, this argument highlights one particular feature of many Communist regimes — their systematic use of famine as a weapon. The regime aimed to control the total available food supply and, with immense ingenuity, to distribute food purely on the basis of ‘merits’ and ‘demerits’ earned by individuals. This policy was a recipe for creating famine on a massive scale. Remember that in the period after 1918, only Communist countries experienced such famines, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions, of people. And again in the 1980s, two African countries that claimed to be Marxist-Leninist, Ethiopia and Mozambique, were the only such countries to suffer these deadly famines.”
  85. ^ Shaw 2015b, Structural contexts and unintended consequences: “Many famines, for example, are originally the product of natural conditions (e.g. in nineteenth-century colonial India) or of anti-peasant policies not originally intended to cause mass death (Stalin’s ‘terror-famine’ and Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’). However, if regimes, whether colonial or Stalinist, fail to take action to alleviate or end starvation, then that outcome may come to be, in part, intended. The understanding of this issue in the laws of war is enlightening: ‘If the destruction [of civilian populations] is avoidable … through better weapon selection, tactics, etc., then the commander could still be held liable under Article 2 of the 1907 Hague Conventions,’ even if he did not intend to kill civilians. If leaders, in the knowledge of hunger, actively pursue policies that exacerbate it, as Stalin and Mao did by selling grain overseas and using violence to prevent peasants from accessing it, then their intention is clear.”
  86. ^ The resolution stated: “In the early 1990s, our country took important steps towards establishing the truth in the Katyn tragedy. It was recognized that the mass extermination of Polish citizens on the territory of the USSR during World War II was an act of arbitrariness by the totalitarian state, which also repressed hundreds of thousands of Soviet people for their political and religious beliefs, on social and other grounds. The published materials, kept in secret archives for many years, not only reveal the scale of this terrible tragedy, but also testify that the Katyn crime was committed on the direct orders of Stalin and other Soviet leaders.”
  87. ^ Bevins 2020, p. 240:”… we do not live in a world directly constructed by Stalin’s purges or mass starvation under Pol Pot. Those states are gone. Even Mao’s Great Leap Forward was quickly abandoned and rejected by the Chinese Communist Party, though the party is still very much around. We do, however, live in a world built partly by US-backed Cold War violence … Washington’s anticommunist crusade, with Indonesia as the apex of its murderous violence against civilians, deeply shaped the world we live in now …”


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  182. ^ Goldhagen 2009, p. 608. It is based on a quote from the 1958 Wuchang conference, where Mao was quoted as saying: “In this kind of situation, I think if we do [all these things simultaneously] half of China’s population unquestionably will die; and if it’s not a half, it’ll be a third or ten percent, a death toll of 50 million people. … If with a death toll of 50 million, you didn’t lose your jobs, I at least should lose mine; [whether I would lose my] head would be open to question. Anhui wants to do so many things, it’s quite all right to do a lot, but make it a principle to have no deaths.”
  183. ^ Short 2001, pp. 436‒437.
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  300. ^ Bevins 2020, pp. 238–240.


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An Editorial!

Steve Erdmann’s Dissenter/Disinter Group Editorial Comments

“Warning” to those who join the Dissenter/Disinter Group: Facebook’s new algorithm automatically ‘subtracts’ members rather than add them correctly! It was not like this a few months ago. This has been reported to Facebook numerous times, without result! An accounting has been started today of all members added to the Dissenter/Disinter Group to document their miscreant functioning. I ask ‘you’ computer programming and mathematician experts out there: what kind of accounting is Facebook using and how would you address this problem? Please help me investigate this and make complaints. A Facebook Help Desk comment on Google says they are “scrubbing-out” non-active Group members: Who and why are they making those indiscriminate decisions (they don’t do that with Friends on Timelines): sounds more like censorship, that would actually be a private matter between Administrators and the members, and not done arbitrarily and against their will (why even try to get members if they’re going to be knifed in the back (or, solicit new members to a Group)?

SE – Once again, we try to explain (as we have done in the past several times) our general approach to news, the media, politics. Here is a reproduction of private comments in a reply to one of my critics:

“We like some of your ideas, facts, and thoughts, and we welcome them – if presented within reason and decor. This is what we don’t like and try to avoid: Stephen Erdmann: We promote very few human endeavors in an absolute sense, Russian or otherwise, as all fail and all fall within the scope of the loop of human evil and frailty. We look for those foes that all humankind seems to be battling from ‘any’ corner they are hunkered in.

“This Group is not a ‘platform’ for one single person’s private opinions or ‘sermons.’ It is a ‘forum’ whereby ‘all’ have an opportunity to add to the ongoing investigation. Hopefully, most will participate and not just become ‘observers.’ Likewise, this Group will not become monopolized by the thinking and propaganda of just one individual – this was not its purpose.

“We are not affiliated with the KKK or any other political faction said that many times, over and over, as well as has explained why we present all sides of news and media questions, without censorship, if possible. We are against the Military/Industrial/Corporate/Complex/Matrix (MICCM) and all its ‘isms,’ ‘cants,’ ‘crats,’ ‘cans,’ and  ‘doms.’ All it takes to see this and prove it, is to use your mouse or enter scroll and have a strong browser and investigate back to 2011. We refuse to become any one person’s private, personal pulpit (that is why you have your own Timeline). We allow most to speak their minds continually here — even to the point of opulently and often stuporous ferociousness — over and over — but apparently that is not good enough for a few. It takes a strong mind and will to live under the 1st Amendment and really abide by it.

“When I say ‘we,’ I usually mean ‘me’ – though I am speaking editorially on behalf of all those members who follow and agree with the Preamble religiously — they get the idea and message — and are giving me their full support.

“All the twisting, stretching, and manipulating of my stated words and intended feelings will not help these matters, and being completely uncompromising, unreasonable and deliberately uncouth certainly won’t help either.

“Please, read my text and postings in their full context and their entirety, if possible, to adjust to the real story and picture I present. Don’t settle for ‘half-baked’ interpretations or careless understanding.

“When any one person begins to use these spaces as solely his or her private podium to demonized (and shout down or otherwise badger) all other voices, he will be informed and given a mandate to cease and desist. This is a ‘forum’ Group and that connotes some fairness and inspection and equipoise of one’s behavior: we hope that each member will reflect on their behavior and not allow it to become effluvium.”

(This does not mean we will allow boring, tiring, inaccurate propaganda about the alleged Israel-cabal of so-called Zionism, which in many cases is far too short-sighted when it concerns the worldwide Military-Industrial-Corporate-Complex-Matrix (MICCM). Well documented pieces on ‘how’ Zionism is part and parcel of the “overall” MICCM, might be tolerated; but, singling out propaganda trying to prove Hitler was virtuous and the killing of the Jewish population as justified, will not be tolerated.

We do not automatically share anti-Semitic views and do not state everyone should or does. In fact, those that appear to be promoted from a Hate standpoint usually won’t coexist on this Group. This Group does not endorse, knowingly, anti-Semitic propaganda per se and any Hate Speech that is the basis for it.)

We are here to promote ‘news’ from all different angles and sources, it is not my or anyone else’s purpose to knowingly or even unknowingly ‘prejudge’ the news, unless it becomes so apparent it is false there is no other alternative. But getting to that point can be a rocky and wearisome struggle. We have no prejudice about exposing ‘multiple’ viewpoints, because we realize that reality is multi-sided, often multidimensional, complicated and not always easily discernible: so we present many sides of that struggle. If you read my editorial comments, you should see that I have no particular stake in the sordid political fights and feel such political ‘gamesmanship’ is illusory and almost impossible. Some people feel that such deception is beyond their party, club or faction. You may feel yours is Holy, as well. I doubt that sanctimoniousness. Only the strong-minded need to tread here. That closed-mindedness of “my viewpoint only” needs to be “taken down.”

It won’t help to distance yourself from exercising your 1st Amendment Rights or having a scientifically critical viewpoint of the way life really is. Being Cheshire Cats or Mad Hatters, neither, or the way humans use delusion to cover the crimes of fellow humans down through the centuries. They now call Hollywood La-La Land for a reason. We all want to be ‘happy,” or try to be, and relish the moments that can be described as such—who wouldn’t?— but the age-old conflicts that are weighing down on so many in society, like maimed soldiers with PTSD — can’t foolishly ignore the conflicts.

A lot of people don’t want to fall into the greedy hands and the vicious, heartbreaking, devastating grip of the Legal Cabal and lawyers who eagerly waiting your downfall and falter into the henchmen hands and courtroom manipulations of distorting reality and controlling your life in as much pain and anguish and loss as possible. You have to example the alternatives, but when confronted, especially with prior knowledge, it might be best to look to each other rather than the Powerbrokers and the Big Brothers. Unfortunately, many are just babes in the woods and don’t know yet what is about to befall them.

It’s all about the money and how the Legal Cabal can control the situation; children are used as hostages for ransom, the court room their playground to reconstruct reality: Orwell’s ‘1984’ further realized, and you will, like Winston, if they have their way, “come to love Big Brother.”

It’s all part of a political ‘game’ that they develop in the courtroom to recreate a ‘reality’ that is used against you (much like the political world in George Orwell’s ‘1984’), been saying that for some time now; and the bigger “gunslinger” and ‘stick-carrier’ more or less wins. Not much different then olden medieval jousts or Roman gladiator fights.

There is a big difference between a source that publishes outright invented news, and a source—or sources—that you just “don’t like,” or says things that are philosophically different than your views or opinions. Things said on the Left spectrum and the Right Spectrum may annoy us, but they have the Constitutional Right to speak and be heard by willing listeners (you can always turn a deaf ear to the opinion). Myself, I think both sides of the “aisle” are filled with evil intentions and hogwash, but that shouldn’t prevent me printing interesting ‘tidbits,’ unless I decide one day to go completely “off the grid.”

Political terms, names and meanings have evolved, changed, and transformed over the years as many other concepts that have also transmogrified. Some “liberal” concepts once seemed to uphold “freedom,” ‘free speech’ and protected ‘human rights’: now have turned into a ‘power-based’ ‘force’ to change society, even if by ‘radical’ or ‘militant’ means. Some blatantly attack those idealistic overtures the Founding Fathers alluded to (some hiding behind those precepts but being actually treacherous to them). Conservatives tried to parade themselves as preserving the principals that were expounded underlying the Founding Fathers up to and through the Bill of Rights, have much, in the same way, become the lair of the wealthy and ultra-rich which want to control the masses, preserve their power and wealth, and hide behind a disguise of being the protectors of the Rights of Mankind, when they are only another power-based ‘force’ for control and greed using the slavery to the masses. They have far surpassed the British overlords the colonialists fought. All of these have become Monsters.

(I know from experience that security guards are nothing but Whipping Boys, a ‘buffer’ between the Security Guard company, the police and the Landowner (they have three (3) bosses). They are the ‘Fall guys,’ if anything goes wrong, it is their job to take the heat, to not make the Landlords or the company to look bad (nor the police, who often treat them as low, second-class citizens and nothing more). They are given a whole list of phony ‘rules’ to make them robots to ‘slice the heat’ and put on a good ‘public face’ (often at low or very moderate wages), sometimes in very dangerous and life-threatening situations. It is Crony Capitalism at its worst; most guards will not admit this for fear of losing their jobs. They could really tell you some stories: but it would expose the ‘system.’ They are allowed to do what they have to do in order to ‘protect’ this ‘status quo and system.’ I am quite sure this goes beyond the Security Guard profession, and the same mentality exists in most businesses and professions, one way or the other.)

Yes, we have covered this phenomena every now and then since 2011. I’ve been through the Divorce Racket (and other rackets) over the years and have tried to speak out in various formats and scenarios; it all follows a common thread. It makes one wonder why we are fighting each other, rather than the ‘common enemy.’ That enemy is hard to see and I’ve done what I can to expose it and make it visible. These pages are open to fellow dissidents and ‘explorers’ and ‘exposers.’ You’re welcome to tell your stories here and add to the exposition. It is all part of a megalith monster I call the Military-Industrial-Corporate-Complex- Matrix (MICCM).

Those that have been through an unwanted divorce, and even a wanted one, to some degree, are aware of the trauma, nervous fatigue, and other psychological damage done—along with other life incidents—resulting in a form of PTSD. I would be the last one to tell someone how to live, as there are too many factors. Avoid elitist nay-sayers who are usually the cause of the problem that you are in, as they are usually narcissists. There is an ‘upside’ to these battles, and it is usually found within you somehow and can be reinforced by fellow victims, possibly.

Concerning a separate and special Right for Women Manifesto: Don’t know why it has to be signature by “women” as these are basic Human Rights for all mankind, male or female, which, unfortunately many women, in their symbiotic and parasitic alliance with the Legal Industry Cabal, causes them to tarnish and violate those basic Rights for both Men and Women. See how far these Rights go without falling into the trap (as they have already been) of being used or overtaken by the MICCM and other Legal Industry Masterminds which only serve their own Power, Profit and Prestige.

You are seeing the dark crevices of the Legal Cabal and its influence over humans. It is not a female/male thing, necessarily, but an allowance of human perversity personified by the workings of the Legal Industry. You are experiencing the gun-ho workings of the system on individuals, as many men have experienced, but the system forces on everyone for profit and power. It is as old as “slavery.”

“Outspoken” should pertain to those who are proven to be true heroes opposing physical and psychological dangers, as opposed to brats and punks, calling themselves adults, trashing, and destroying others for very vain and greedy purposes.

It is equally infuriating to be unnecessarily misquoted and misunderstood, when an opponent or debater is just flouting his ingrained and innate propaganda brainwashed into him from birth and is making no attempt to truly analyze and comprehend what you are telling them. Sometimes, their minds are so closed, they just ignore anything you say or do. Instead of approaching the arguments from “in your shoes,” they continue to be the little robots our society has invented and further spiel the usual venom and grade-school invectiveness in which they have ‘not’ tried to unlearn.

I am at a point in my life that I want to undo the evils that I forgot or refused to fight against in my life, and give others a choice to do the same, before it is too late, utilizing my 1st Amendment Rights and no longer turning a blind eye to the fates of the world. To teach others to ‘think’ and discover and use their mind, not to become simple sheep and blind slaves to those who control their reality: Take off their masks, those little deceiving priests!

People get stuck in very old ideologies, concepts and “isms” and refuse to move out of those ‘boxes.’ We always like to think that we are the ones that are wearing the ‘white hats,’ and are the ‘only’ ones that know how to wear them and, even, the only ones that know where to ‘buy’ them: when they are just grey, smudged, soiled and fraying old hats that have been passed around for generations through many, many secret hands.

“Some kind” of compromise and “understanding” is always needed when these debates appear and try to look at “root” problems and not bring up too many private situations; and even then, always be willing to compromise and see each other’s point-of-view. Other than that, as I have said many times previously, the terms “fascist, liberal, left, right” are thrown around too loosely and with no historical meaning, always being projected from each person’s “private boxes.”

We shouldn’t condemn ‘socialism’ any more than ‘conservatism’: both are aimless, meaningless terms that don’t reflect the hidden agendas they are used for: fascist control and imperial elitism, the real enemy. At least ‘socialism’ had a true and genuine use in history well before America came into being and the bastardization of political terms. Most “political sensations” are nothing but masks to hide our inner evils and to gang together and destroy each other rather than help each other. A lot of national patriotism is the same baby-gook. We tend to fall for false histories, rather than the real histories: take off your masks little priests! Stop living in a world of ancient slogans and worn-out propaganda created by deceptive brain controllers and illusory political ideals.

Putting your full faith behind any one political party or personage is like trying to find virtue in a whorehouse: there are no such animals. Tyrannical and fascistic thinking are par for the course in any arena of life: it is the way humanoids operate. Ideologies are things only on ‘paper’: the real world should circumnavigate those illusory dreams and get down to the true facts; take off your masks, little priests.

I am the real oddball: and I have been sick and tired of the masking and erroneous parading of the so-called “Political Parties” for some time; watching the circus of flying monkeys never changes, even when one monkey is somewhat likable and seems to be alien to all the rest, it never changes. Still, we forge ahead and root and rant like the Romans at the Coliseum.

‘Pure’ Capitalism has never existed, nothing politically and socially has ever existed as ‘pure.’ It is easy to write something on paper and claim it is pristine and infallible, but quite another to see it operate in cold, stark reality. So-called Americanism as Capitalism was corrupted right out of the gate (i.e., see past postings and comments elsewhere). It is nice to write idealistic doctrine, but quite another thing to see it corrupted, inadequate, and having no fail-safe due to the monstrosity of the human condition. I know all about the dictionary definition but applying it to real human accomplishments is a pipedream, daydream, fable that has never really existed in all practically. I ‘sure as hell’ see proof of that every day.

So-called “Capitalism” has had its problems too, part of which redesigning what is a theory on ‘paper’ and inventing it according to our own evil images, in the form of Crony Capitalism, Fascism, etc., etc. Like so much in life, there never has been “pure” Capitalism (like there have never been ‘pure’ heroes, or ‘pure’ religion, or ‘pure’ politics) because any such “ism” is run by nefarious and weak and inhumane “humans.” We have a classical bent to destroy, pervert and warp the things about us. It is just one of many fairy tales and play-toys that humans like to toss around and manipulate. Looking for this Holy Grail (like looking for the Golden Fleece) is ‘fun’ and can be used to bolster our usual Id Monsters (to take a metaphor from the movie FORBIDDEN PLANET), but it is in no way ‘reality.’

Capitalism is a cheap term used on paper only, a fairy-tale used by mega-Monsters to wave in the face of others and hide behind their own magnanimous quests to control and prosper—it is a concept on paper, an ideology, that does not truly represent what is actually being done in reality. Crude Crony Mercantilism as a guise to hide under a fictitious Capitalism might be another way to describe it, but no matter what term you use, it has never really existed, any more than “pure” Communism, “pure” Christianity, or other “pure” ‘isms’ which we use to mask the real person or the real institution as it should be nakedly exposed for what it “is” and for what is really being done in all their corrupt and inglorious actions. Being a Monster in any fashion, no matter, how wealthy or powerful, does not justify its existence, Might does not Make Right, as history blatantly shows, and the defense of such corruption and any extension or characteristic of it only shows the evil it is and continues to become. Thank you Dorian Gray.

Fighting each other instead of the common enemy: what a waste! Some members are correct when they say America has strong fascist elements, but America is “not” the ‘only’ place that this evil does and can take root. We are overemphasizing the wrong places, time and things! Why is it that vampires can’t see themselves in the mirror?

It would appear that “enslavement” — or slavery — is a universal, ingrained mechanism of human nature — a very cruel and often contradictory facet of humans: which we can see today as it is incorporated, mechanized and used in our Modern World; and it is aimed at and applied “to all humans” (except for those who try to rule and use enslavement).

The vile vindictiveness that the public is confronted with by many judges in the legal system goes beyond the words “fair and equal justice,” where the lives of citizens become mere playthings in the Westworld-type of robotic recreation on the floors of the courthouse. The worldwide multi-billion-dollar Legal Industry has permeated every fiber of our lives and directed our realities to the dictates of this despotic Puppet-Master. Ask any divorce man or domestic court victim, they will attest that a man has only five (5) foes when he enters the system: his lawyer, her lawyer, the judge, her innate sexuality and the status quo.

Many live in their little “isms” they were raised in from birth and do not look beyond or question who are the core sponsors (do you have a mirror; can you look in a mirror?). They do not realize how intricately they are crafted and brainwashed. They are robotized goose-stepping zombies, and there is no changing. The MICCM has trained them well.

No concept or leaf is left alone by the MICCM: it is part of evil human nature, even so-called national pride or patriotism. Look down through history and see how often humans have used these for evil and destructive purposes.

The human being is love-challenged and intelligence-challenged and has proved themselves as such down through history. The humans believe that owning tons of money makes them superior to their fellow creatures and creating millions of enslaved and blindly devoted employees makes themselves even better rulers and elitists. It has always been that way, on the micro and macro levels; they also abhor psychological mirrors and will even kill to the death if their empires are challenged, taking millions of fellow humans to their death. They “group” in mutual ‘clubs’ as a way to protect and even ‘mask’ their true natures.

Reality is shifting beneath your very own feet: what we have been taught about the righteousness of the Left or Right, Democrats or Republicans, this ‘wing,’ or that ‘wing,’ and we do not reflect the innate and basic social realities that are taking place before our own eyes. In my years since July 27, 1944, based on my experience and the questions I have asked, and my eyes have seen, we have been deluded over and over, from the day we were born. See my past comments. When confronting attorneys in private and putting hard questions to them, often in confidence, many have said there is no real freedom, anywhere, in any party — that they are in control and they hold allegiance to no one but their Bar Association cabal. Right out of Orwell’s 1984, but only worse and complete. This: because all “isms” are under the evil rule of the “Humans.” Humans that glorify every evil act they do as good and pure: it won’t change, and we won’t challenge it unless we see the real “enemy.” We will continue to form “clubs” (social and physical) — and expound those clubs — with power and greed and evil to be used as ‘clubs’ against each other — until this final Truth becomes too evident to deny.

These lawyers have opened a Pandora’s box. In my meetings with attorneys, they have shown hardened, darkened commitment to fascistic, despotic rule by corporate giants and big business, in stark, no-uncertain-terms—those terms are evident in the elements of its manufacture, such as Fire-At-Will laws and the disrespect of Human Rights.

An editor from the Wall Street Journal hit the nail right on the head: it is all about money. You pay enough so your lawyer can split a little off for the other lawyer and the judge, and after paying a small fortune, you get some of what you want. It is all a recreated reality done in the court room to the tune of the dollar bill. It is sad, that is true, but this is the way humans operate. Sometimes, however, one lawyer just does not want to look bad to the other lawyer, or the judge, and will sell you out just to keep in tight with the Club. The Legal Cabal is very much a part of the MICCM and controls our reality, it’s a “‘Big Club,’ and you are not in it!” (Carlin). I mentioned one time to an editor of the Wall Street Journal that perhaps a RICO suit should be brought against the Bar Association, and he asked how I would get the money to do that, and that, here again, it is a lawyer suing fellow lawyers; it ain’t going to happen. How can we get over this insurmountable wall? I’ll join in a Foundation to fight lawyers, if others will come with me. Let me know.

Note the synchronistic similarities between corporate “government,” popular “government,” social “government,” corporations as “people,” corporate “government” bribing and sleeping with “popular government,” all mixed in what I call the Military/Industrial/Corporate/Complex/Matrix (MICCM) “Government.”

We don’t understand “government.” We think it is a separate entity, alone and separate from us. Government is the darkest, evilest, macabre parts of our own psyche, and when those elements ‘group’ in the various forms and combinations (such as the MICCM) and materialize, we see the Monster ‘we’ have become. In the science-fiction thriller THE FORBIDDEN PLANET, it was called monsters of the ‘id.’ Until we see the true ‘enemy’—us—we will never, ever come to terms or defeat it.

Part of the problem is our throwing terms around for loose and lop-sided reasons without any real background or roots. These are enormously powerful people in the IMF and the United Nations, they are not a bunch of poor people trying to grub-up a livable wage for themselves. All this talk about entitlements: some of these ‘official’ people are born-and-breed aristocracy; they don’t know what it is like to live in the slums of India, Africa or the lowest of the low. It is a matter of the wealthy controlling the masses, and it is usually the wealthy that profit and the masses that suffer. They spend billions of media-propaganda-dollars guaranteeing that ‘that’ brainwashing is successful so the masses don’t attack them and “keep the lowly in their place.” That is the way it has always been! What is so sad, is when some of these executives, in a “little-bit-than-better-CEO-middle-class-salary,” actually have convinced themselves they are on the “winning side”—yes, they are actually safely on the side of the “elite”—that is ‘their’ team—and yet they don’t realize or are not aware that this is all self-delusion and they are only a few steps away—in actuality—from their very own destruction as outsiders also. It is all part of the programming by the MICCM.

It is exceedingly difficult and painful to suddenly realize that lullabies and fairy stories are things that are used to placate us and even control us, stories put down on paper, while they make us feel good and justified, are usually used by ourselves against ourselves as weapons hurting or obscuring ourselves. But we keep trudging on, programmed to believe that our ‘pipe dreams’ will come true and the scribbling we have made—or were programmed to make–mean something and will fly off the paper into reality. We can always pretend and hope.

(An aside: We have a ban on personal and unreasonable attacks on each other, or any other excuse one would try to come up with. If some are allowed to attack private family and friends, then any one is allowed to.

Attacks on one’s personal parents, children, or relatives are not allowed for whatever reason one can imagine. No posting or site or Group justifies hitting below the belt: if your arguments are good, they will not sink this low. That is not just espousing another opinion: instead, that is vicious attack.

We welcome all civil comments. We are running into, now and then, more and more, the questionable muck that is so often displayed across the Internet that ‘free speech’ is confused with slander, personal attacks and just being downright nasty and unkind for no other reason. We are happy to see you are not one of them.)

(I am not so sure the Reich disappeared but was transformed into the Fourth Reich, and the transformation and partnerships went further and further: the constant transmogrifications and transformations with partners sleeping in same bed. All the “isms” have blended into sub-Rosa deals: you are dealing with one huge Industrial/Military/Corporate/Complex/Matrix [MICCM]. The Party system is a mask, as are so many other masks. “Take off your mask, little priest,” says murderer Errol Childress to detective Rustin Spence in TRUE DETECTIVE, a mask we all wear and deny. ######################################## 
“He’s saying to take off the mask of his persona. They both know that the whole concept of being a ‘person’ is an illusion, and that everything just repeats over and over again, that good and evil will always exist, and yet Rust continues to fight the ‘good’ fight, because that’s simply his role. He is aware that it is futile, and yet continues this masquerade nonetheless. Errol is telling him to take off his mask and reveal his ‘true’ self; that the darkness is really within him. That this is all just a play, created by himself. A dream that he had within a locked room. And the only way to reveal this truth is in death.” ################### https://www.quora.com/True-Detective-Season-1-Episode-8-Why…

 ##### Lindsey Krumhar.) #########https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIdB8LX4pGs


It is sad if we still have to use the terms Liberal and Right as human qualifiers, as if it is a baseball sport, instead of just looking at the people as humans and just look at the facts: without all the banner- “my side versus your side” – waving. Slogans are masks to hide the evil, take off your masks little priests.

How in the world do the readers/members equate “non-coercion” with capitalism, when capitalistic countries have far more than a share of human torment and inhumanity? The fact is: there are no ‘pure’ systems of human relations that are devoid of evil and human mistreatment, be that capitalism or other. A lot of corruption happens in this system, and others, that can’t be gainsaid or explained away with fluffy, pie-in-the-sky make-believe. We need to take off our masks!

I think there is far more fear of the wealthy right-wing tyranny taking over America than the poor, underprivileged underclass swarming the Elite-ruling class. This fear of the “reds” coming to get our money was instilled in the 30-50’s to fight Communism by Intelligence operations in America. You are stuck in an era that was not all-together true. I don’t think presenting you with other evidence will do much good, if you are not willing to move out from behind that propaganda.

Having no great love for the current Parties, or any “ism,” does not mean I cannot pick out those bits and pieces and statements of logic that seem – seem – to point to good directions. It doesn’t mean I am giving “WHOLEHEARTED” endorsement of any Party or organization: just respecting some things that they occasionally say that are reasonable. History – true history – exists as bits and pieces in a large jigsaw puzzle; it is up to us to locate and assemble those pieces in honest efforts.

This should be an independent look at facts and issues, not “wings”: this is not a Kentucky-Fried restaurant. And this so-called “Right wing”—that must be a spicy part of the bird—or are they just Muppets dressed in white robes and gold halos floating around with their all-powerful wands and gimmicks?

This Group is not a hodgepodge of confused (nor a melting pot of all kinds of), aimless political quips and slander: do not come here to just “get something off your chest” – speak with purpose, clarity, and humanity and reason: childish tantrums belong in the alley. We need some new, innovative, investigation and reasoning: not the same old, worn-out, repetitive, ageless tantrums about Left versus Right. If we cannot change – we are lost.

Members are always welcome to state their detailed reasons for disagreement, but usually none are forthcoming. We encourage members to post their own analysis and other areas of news, no matter how disconcerting; but, apparently, most just rather be by-standing critics that have little to say of value.

If you want further specifics other than what is said here: you need to help locate those persons and names and pin down their actual substance and actions: nothing is being handed on a silver-platter, and we ask all to add further names and specific items; you are welcome to do that. Readers are welcome to speak up and demonstrate their findings, rather than vaguely complain. Sometimes, specific and detailed questions bring forth specific and detailed answers, bad questions, bad answers.

I don’t necessarily believe Putin or “anybody”: I try to present a lot of interesting comments and facts with not so much an unduly “prejudgment” so as to get opinions from all sides, rather than censor from some hidden or inner sanctum crap-pot of judgmental facts; and then I sometimes let the chips fall where they may.

(Please read and follow the Preamble, it is there for a reason. While we abhor censorship, but we do have rules: this is not a “let it all hang out” assembly with wild and ravishing comments. Use reason and purpose and humanity.

For all those out there who occasionally complain about the choice of content [and I am fighting the heavy-hand of the 1st Amendment and no censorship as well]: please submit – submit content that you would like to see, be active to this extent, and not just bystanders and curbside spectators.)

We welcome all the stories of tragedy in the lives of people who have encountered the Power Cabal. Most people are unaware of the day-to-day destruction of the family and other ‘taboo’ topics because the Powers-That-Be are not predicated upon its disclosure and they rather hide the cold, stark and naked facts: it would expose their true, evil intentions. Your stories can be told here.

Sadly, corporate enterprises, such as FACEBOOK, are trending to follow in the insanity of despotic corporatism, viewing their use of robots and censorship and Kangaroo Courts: It doesn’t make it right, known as Might Makes It Right syndrome. People have always fought back against this type of tyranny—and always will—unless they are Brain Washed or become corporate lackeys or henchmen. Here is one better: ultimately, your reality is controlled by lawyers and the Bar Associations in a Grand Cabal—what do you do, just give up the spirit and allow them total, complete control? As time goes on, and the technological tools advance and the wealth of the elites also grow, so do the means and tactics of the Power Elites, advancing in tow — step by step, to your demise.

That’s foolish! Obviously, Facebook doesn’t say: “you must agree to pointless censorship and reckless use of rules and unreasonable and dark, unanswerable human treatment and censorship”; they allege to act in a fair and reasonable manner and answerable to common decency and humanity. It is the least that American society expects. True, no one is reasonable and especially those in power, and only corporate lackeys and those of dark, like-minded mentally would agree with it anyway. Some of us have been mistaken, but it is not the first time, and, in our goodwill and generosity, we make false assumptions all the time—–it still does not make it right, but only to the like-minded.

We dance around some of the “core” problems and dress our dance in all kinds of (getting to be) “worn out” slogans, chants, and aimless threats, some very inaccurate, often, pretending to be on the “right side” of history — as the ground is shifting beneath our feet and the very reality of things is and has changed drastically in the matrix before our very eyes. More to come.

Good that you aren’t “complying,” that is not like you Ron Schmidt, because it seems to be Facebook’s “official” policy to allow this junk to happen often; religion, corporatism, and a whole host of tyrannical and power-derived ‘isms’ — even ‘capitalism’ — operate basically the same: fear, control, subjugation, etc. It is the way humans work and have been operating for eons. But Ron doesn’t really believe this “system” of humans can be evil and maybe, just maybe, we signed on to their Terms of Service (TOS) when we bought into this mass deception, and since we “bought in” to this grand Status Quo, we should have no complaint (Sovereign Immunity, “Don’t Question the King,” Boss, Dictator, President, etc., etc.), complaining won’t get you to the Top (investigating the system, the boss, etc.), only compliance will so sell your soul to the TOS, you hoe. Besides, it doesn’t really matter said an EEOC lawyer: they can make the rules, break the rules, apply them incoherent any way they like (and from the looks of the dirty politics going on nationally and internationally, that is obvious)! You just have to live with it!

Robert Glenn: True, men and affairs are like peas in the pod, on down the line. They carry that pistol and then are told not to use it. But here is the irony of those situations, unless they are gay: they are doing it with “females.” It takes two to have sex, unless you are into riding the pony by yourself. But sadly, we are also told these “females” are forever innocent, victims, forced into sex by evil-overbearing-seductive males. I’ve met many females when I was single: not at all innocent, dumb, uncreative, brainless sex partners. In fact, I recall being seduced five or six times. Some, I even turned down (to my chagrin and even threats). But that was all my fault too for not allowing seduction. A guy just can’t ‘win,’ and to emphasize the point the Legal Cabal Pimps will see that you get the point and learn that lesson in the back-alley called the court system. Have a nice day?

You corporate lackey! We know all about the propaganda of corporatism! We’ve heard the slogans and the doctrines and the weird terms of corporations as ‘people,’ and how they have so much Power and can get away with murder and inventing and corralling laws and the making and breaking of laws. And you are right ‘in’ there! We see it— and so do many others — quite differently — crony capitalism — phony capitalism — whatever term you feel happy and comfortable about. Nobody in their right mind willingly sells their soul to the devil (except you!). We’ve been over this — with you — and other numbskulls — and we know from where and how you are coming. You probably feel just fine and dandy with the bullshit Facebook has been promoting, and some more that kind, or the other antics that corporate social media is using. You have all the answers but not the soul of America, and its ugly, dark, corporate underbelly. You are right at home (but not here) and probably could care less.

Stephen Erdmann Ron Schmidt (April 9, 2018) Hey Ron, corporations are different than citizen houses and families. There is a dichotomy and a hierarchy involved that is apparently over your head, but it can involve crimes, and if any ‘person’ commits a crime (and corporations are ‘persons’ now) he pays penalties and infractions, and from the looks of things, corporations are not devoid of that and even further looking shows they have many legal suits and case files against them. If they can do no wrong, why is this all taking place? Apparently, what corporations want, and what ‘reality’ is doing and seeing are two different things. There are many other fine distinctions happening, but they are well over any corporate lackey’s head as most of those have their heads stuck so far up the respective corporate butts, they can’t see the light of day! It has been called by many different names, white collar crime, and monopolization, money laundering, on and on and on.

Trump has a specific personality his own, entirely, how can it be any different; do you want him to ‘pretend’ to be a person that he really isn’t, and what might that be? Listen, this Group, site, and profile, as well as many others on Facebook and the Internet say they are for originality, free-thought, free speech, free actions, and then when a President of the U.S. says he is his own person and unique, you slam him. It is okay for ‘you’ to be that way and not a President? If he does something dastardly, it will be exposed, but this wild and constant minute-to-minute character assassination (in the land of the Free, innocent until proven guilty) that appears nothing but a propaganda machine; and dirty politics isn’t any good either, at all. And who might and has been accusing us freethinkers on Facebook of being “unbalanced” as it goes with the territory.

Male and female have that innate animal urge to destroy their neighbors. Animals do it out of necessity to survive. Humans do it out of that unidentifiable element in the deep part of their spirit that must be evil, to be satiated, and quenched, for no other purpose than to gain control, Power, and conquest for pleasure. Both men and women have this ID Monster element; though females have evolved to perform an ‘added’ psychological mechanism and gimmick that males have not evolved into, giving them an added ‘edge’ of attack and destruction. My MiiMii and Dexter, even my outdoor Blackie, do not do these things, because they are civilized animals, not monstrous humans. It is interesting to note, one instance when I was a Security Guard at a bank, I could listen in on the conversations of the female bank tellers, and they had gotten into an unrehearsed, completely free conversation amongst themselves about females and how destructive they were in their actions and the games they play. True history and life, unveiled and unprompted, can be a powerful life-lesson.

Stephen Erdmann: June 12, 2018:  Sadly, trying to find honest and reputable “politicians” is like trying to find a sinless prostitute in a whorehouse, or trying to find the best apple in a barrel of really rotten apples, or….it just is not possible. My Timeline, and the Dissenter/Disinter Group, and my Editorial Comments there, make it very clear: Partisan Politics (in fact, all ‘isms’ and ‘ologies’) is a zero-sum game which reveals only the masquerade that humans operate behind and mask themselves (only paper-tigers, bound up with phony White Hats, pretty ribbons, and decorative paper) — in short, these games of political ‘tag’ are worthless, history is always written by the winners and also distorted by the participants to cover all and subvert all the full facts. Of course, not everyone agrees with me, and most blindly march forward waving the banner of their ‘club,’ ‘group,’ ‘religion,’ etc., etc., blind to the obvious fact that humans do more historical damage to fact-finding than constructive help because of the continuous ‘masquerades.’ One reason we need the 1st Amendment and more impartial fact-finding historians (if such can even possibly exist). Until then, misplaced hero-worship and self-aggrandized ‘ologies’ will forever continue to distort the picture, perhaps without hope.

Some Groups are quite paranoid and hyperventilated, suspecting all people and persons to some curious agenda they ‘have’ or suspect others of having. The JFK groups are mostly like that, being a landscape of suspicion, unreasonable debate, slander, attack and wild accusations. That doesn’t say much for fair and sane investigation, tending to be grade-schoolers and parochially petty. I tend to shy away from such radical and wild climates, not doing science or any one any good: Mostly private “in” Groups, if you are friends of friends of friends, or know same or even if you associate with the wrong people they dislike (not the basis for good journalistic enquiry). Good luck.

But I repeat myself.

(We go back to 2011, for genuine researchers and not just spectators, so use a powerful browser and go searching. Good luck.)


Dissenter/Disinter Magazine goes back to 1967 when I gave birth to a little fanzine that seemed to be my contribution to the media flavor of that time: the Viet Nam war, the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, the late Jim Moseley’s Saucer News, Ray Palmer’s provoking Search Magazine and Hidden World series, as well as a line of “controversy” radio programs such as Long John Nebel, Suspense, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, with television shows such as Science Fiction Theater and Twilight Zone. In St. Louis in the 60s there was WIL “Steve Clark” controversy radio. There was a section of the media that was renaissance to the investigating of the more curious and often sinister elements at that time, and it gave birth to me and others that have continued in that vein to this day (many will include Coast to Coast radio and Alex Jones and others to this list). We still try to contribute to the emblem of “controversy and protest” as a way of getting to the truth.

Subsequently, in the years following, my life embodied further “discovery” of these “realities” of the mysterious Powers-that-Be (which were quite depressing and decorated with flight-or-fight syndromes), and my waking hours were consumed with survival and making “ends meet” (as with so many of the population, I did not have the luxury of always devoting myself to media publishing or even schooling). That story may or may not be left to my memoirs (and my Timeline), if at all.

We try not to “conform” to predispose or status quo “images” that people have in their heads or were born with. We approach all topics from different viewpoints and suggestions, because we realize solutions are never black and white (I hail back to H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, George Orwell, Charles Fort (http://www.experienceproject.com/

…/Protest-The-Use-…/2923915), Info Journal, and a host of New Age and Protest scientists [study my Timeline]). We offer a forum for discussion, within reason. Questions are always open. I, personally, am ‘independent’ politically, neither bowing to the Left or Right, and neither do I encourage others to bow to them either (or any “ism”). It is a matter of finding out who the tyrants are and how much you relinquish to being a slave. Others may participate from their own level of evaluation, that is their right; but I cannot “endorse” everyone’s politics or religion. We offer a platform to search these things out (in a civil and humane fashion: see Preamble) through questioning and debate. How do you see applying censorship in Groups and Timelines? Use it every time something grinds against your personal opinion? And what about the next person? And the next person? Seems that our Founding Fathers grappled with these questions as well. It is amazing with all the common threads of agreement that ‘can’ be found in fighting tyrannical government and evil conspiracies, we are tearing each other apart, for some reason, over petty feuds and personality squabbles that detract from common core efforts (those little nuggets of gold that make us all as one in protest). We (we are speaking editorially) hope we are able to stand in a “common core” against Tyranny and the evils that are associated with it.

In the end, we are all brothers and sisters.


And, yes, I tend to be an activist: A political activist is someone who is involved in the political process for the sake of promoting, impeding or raising awareness of a certain issue or set of issues. Political activism typically involves engagement beyond just voting, whether it be through protest, demonstration or lecture.

PRIVACY Warning: Steve Erdmann:
Due to the fact that Facebook has chosen to involve software that will allow the theft of my personal information, I do declare the following: on this day, September 28, 2016, in response to the new Facebook guidelines and under articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data, drawings, paintings, photos, texts etc… published on my profile. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times.
Those reading this text can copy it and paste it on their Facebook wall. This will allow them to place themselves under the protection of copyright. By this release, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or to take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The actions mentioned above apply equally to employees, students, agents and/or other staff under the direction of Facebook.
The contents of my profile include private information. The violation of my privacy is punished by the law (UCC 1 1-308 – 308 1 -103 and the Rome Statute). Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are invited to post a notice of this kind, or if you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you have not published this statement at least once, you will tacitly allow the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile update.https://www.facebook.com/groups/171577496293504/ ##https://www.facebook.com/stephen.erdmann1.

NOTE: Many  members and  readers say this is worthless and of no legal value. I borrowed it from another Group. Worth a try. SE.


May 21, 2018.  About 3:50 p.m. Greg Ross I’ve shot better than you. Your fat ass easy target


May 23, 2018: Comment on Travis Smith:  Stephen Erdmann –  Nationalism is a fiction created by ‘insiders,’ and like the doctrines of religions, despite their pompous-sounding slogans and professed emblems, usually has gone astray, and even covered evils of the professors that use them. The Founding fathers professed noble causes and principles, but they also had a ‘dark side,’ some of them, and many say they ‘really’ did not break away from the British Commonwealth and Throne. In the name of “goodness,” in the name of “Nationalism,” most countries wage war and so-called ‘defense’ against other countries. Some horrendous crimes are hidden under those banners. What if it is all a joke, a hoax, a deception, and ‘this’ is the way that the human “being,” animal, operates, suffocated by and paying homage to their inner ID Monsters?


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Stephen Erdmann” June 17, 2018. A general comment not directed at anyone in particular: We just don’t reproduce what each person might consider brand-spanking-undisclosed-news items never-seen-before that might titillate their subjective fancies, we achieve and denote and collect interesting tidbits that might be of general interest, usually very up-to-date and of interest. If you want the fantasy that strikes your innermost wishes, start your own library, we don’t cater to just one person.

Stephen Erdmann: June 19, 2018: Need to tell you the story of Walter Lembeck, one of the smartest savvy CEO’s that was married to a judge’s daughter, who turned on him, causing him to lose his children in a custody battle, and the ‘system’ and the judge brought down the whole cabal to protect the judge’s daughter. Walter only put up with that for so long: he studied night and day in the Law Library (and studied court sessions), and became a very ‘intimating’ pro se lawyer and expert, and began winning many filings he made and eventually won his children back and made his ‘ex’ pay some costs—but it didn’t end there. No, the story didn’t end there, unfortunately, and the full force of the cabal was brought against him, his losing property, jobs, and his children once again. Walter borrowed about 300,000 to 600,000 dollars from his mother to file and fight to the local Supreme Court all the way to the national Supreme Court; which they refused to hear his case. Destitute and defeated, he did the only thing he could do to save himself from destruction—he eventually remarried his ex-wife, and last I heard was back in good (?) graces and remarried to his ex-wife: What kind of ending would you call that? We need to talk to Walter, if he is still living, to find out. Life is scary and strange.

Steve Erdmann to Anna Benjamins, June 22, 2018:  Anna, as you probably know by now, several weeks ago, the UFO Digest Magazine was hit by hackers. Since the tech company is in Canada, it is difficult for RM to get readily in touch with them to work on the problem. His last message to me was that “he needed to get in touch with Dirk’s wife about the company but haven’t heard back from her.” Please contact him and help him in any way possible, it is imperative that we get the magazine back in operation. Please keep in touch about this and contact RM as well.

Stephen Erdmann: June 22, 2018:  The noble ideas that the Founding Fathers enveloped in the Bill of Rights were universal and sanctioned for all people, everywhere in as much as the Fathers were very aware of urban life, and not just rural lives, around the globe, big cities, complex governments—they were aware of these things also as they pondered and wrote the Bill of Rights. They were often educated lawyers from Britain and other places of higher education. It really wasn’t framed by rural people at all. Those who want to tamper with these noble and holistic ideas are fools that are rather tyrannical in their primitive thinking to destroy and reconstruct with as much damage and power as they can get.

Stephen Erdmann: June 23, 2018: This is a growing problem across the broad scope of the media everywhere. It is happening to Facebook, YouTube, and the Internet in general—which has been invented and control by the government from the beginning. People don’t realize how controlled their lives are across the span of living, and from birth. It is the way that despots and tyrants operated from time immemorial. We need a spiritual and universal awakening. Every day, another victim is added to the list, and occasionally, they wake up to the tyranny and slavery when it hits them personally, but not enough or often. Contact me and my Foundation to fight back: independenterdmann@gmail.com or locate me at http://wordpresscom507.wordpress.com or Facebook (if they allow it and don’t censor it). We are under attack!

Stephen Erdmann: June 23, 2018: What should have been plain to most citizens long ago, but apparently not, neither party nor partisan politics are void of and free from tyrannical thinking and the enslavement of the “controllers.” They all want to wear the “White Hat,” when in reality, all hats are smudged, dark, dirty, greasy ‘hats.’ Apparently, everyone is lacking ‘mirrors’ in their homes and domains! The illusion of “my gang versus your gang, and my gang is right” should have long ago passed into oblivion, but we cling to the myths and deception and mind-manipulation taught to use by our enslavers and from birth. Our Controllers and enslavers depend on that stupidity and our lack of spiritual insight. They want us as crude and dumbed-down Orwellian Paroles to manipulate. It has been that way through history. Trying to measure the “good” points versus the “bad” points could be a skill attempted for a professional and advanced historian, but it does little for now in viewing “my side is holier than your side” misconceptions to date. As culprit, Errol Childress told detective Rust Cohle in the TV series TRUE DETECTIVE: “Take off your mask, little priest!”

Stephen Erdmann: June 23, 2018:  Geneva Hagen Any way you cut it, the Founding Fathers had put hard and long-thought into the Bill of Rights and it was meant for posterity and to be universal. When I speak of tyrannical-thinking, I am speaking in generalities and point it at all people with these ugly ID Monster “Masks” that hide their errors and evil vanities. There are those who wish the worst for themselves and their fellow man all under the disguise of self-righteousness, holiness, and Control of others, misguided they be in their inflated worth to destruct the Bill of Rights. If there be a way to perfect those, if even possible, so be it; but the UN can’t even follow their own guidelines for Human Rights. This is because the human being is basically ‘vampires’ that never see their own image in the mirror. This is why even the culprit Errol Childress said to detective Rust Cohle in the TV series TRUE DETECTIVE: “Take off your mask, little priest!”

Stephen Erdmann: July 3, 2018:

Becky Olmstead
Becky Olmstead: Travis Smith …um…yea….men don’t make good hookers 😉

Peter Corlis
Peter Corlis: power corrupts

Peter Corlis
Peter Corlis: But I’ve seen many good men taken to the cleaners in divorce settlements…

Stephen Erdmann: The story to human cruelty can only be divided between females and males, humans are stinkers and fallen creatures. There are many examples of the ‘techniques’ that females use, and in their evolutionary past, they have grown added ‘edges’ of cruelty. Because of their physically weaker bodies, they have adopted strong and more cunning psychological mechanisms to combat things they consider threats. A symbiotic relationship has developed between them and the Legal Industry. You see this symbiotic machination in nature all the time.

Once, when I was a security guard at a bank, the female tellers were speaking amongst themselves, openly and unrehearsed, as to that added ‘cruelty’ ‘edge’ that females possessed. It was the frank and candid conversation with no holds barred; all those female tellers were agreeing that their sex contained those extra aspects of cruelty and their sex was by-far experts at these gimmicks and evils.

In another case, a man was confronted with divorce when his wife involved him in litigation and was trying to obtain the family home and custody of his children. She had many lovers and had been conspiring with an attorney secretly for many years. His lawyers told him that he had no chance to win unless he obtained concrete proof. This he did with a telephone tap and recording over a number of weeks in which he not only recorded the lovers but the cruelty of female friends and neighbors who equally conspired to sabotage the man. At one point in the tape, the wife suggested placing poison in the husband’s soup. The conspiracy was astounding.

This is no fiction—it is completely true—I heard the uncensored tape. The conspiracy is astounding. It involved not only neighbors and supposed friends of the wife, but attorneys that she was seeing for years and years, planning on the caper. So much for the goodness of attorneys. A few weeks after he had finally paid off the house mortgage, he was presented with the divorce petition.

This same female, now single and having married a wealthy businessman (who died from cancer?), has set her sights on doing everything possible, true to her nature, to destroy the love and caring of her children for their father. And there also was some hoaxing involved in the use of Parental Alien Syndrome (PAS): the story never seemed to end. But I believe you are getting the picture, and that we’ll save for another time.

Typically, as a metaphor, a dinosaur monster charges the cave in which the caveman and his wife and children exist. The cavewoman screams and shouts instructions at the husband to attack and destroy the monster—to which he does to protect his family. He was physically stronger—but who do you think was actually in control of the situation? The real puppeteer?

Of course, we are not saying males are innocent creatures, no human or homo sapien is! Both can and do evil acts; there are an evolutionary difference that have their own special and inherent peculiarities, and as the saying goes ‘Viva la difference!” —- but maybe not so happy as some ‘differences’ can be deadly and scary and uncharted. Uncharted! There has been very little scientific ‘study’ about the aforementioned “edge.”

July 23, 2018.  To Tony Elliott and Emil Donofrio:  Stephen Erdmann:  Both of you philosophers are wrong and also correct, I’ve said all I can say in my pinned Editorial Comments, spoken from the heart and my own life experiences. People live in rigged ‘boxes’ taught from birth and most won’t budge an inch to get out of them. I still have isolated prejudices myself that I am working on. Emil is certainly correct: no one—no one–has created true Capitalism, and they are not living in a real ‘Capitalism.’ It is an unreal, phony doctrine that Capitalists hide behind and mask their evil intentions. So, in reality, these people are living in a fairytale that never actually is taking place, other than what is on paper. To bolster that belief, these people use all kinds of slogans and banners and parade about under “Nationalism” and a lot of flag-waving and political sermons. However, likewise, all nations—every one of them–do the same thing. They do it for Power, for Money, for Control (name me one communistic or socialistic nation that doesn’t). You see, humans work this way, it is their innate mindset. It leads to all kinds of hidden agendas and Black Projects and political intrigue. We can hope and wish for some buried element of a soul, some hidden decency behind it all—but just how realistic is that when we see the harsh reality about us telling us the true story? Progressives, Socialism, Communism are also just ‘paper’ doctrine and we actually see that they, very much like their capitalistic counterparts, are probably identical, and these people also are based on Power, Money, and Control. And all these human savages will do almost anything to keep it that way. And then add the further hidden ingredient of ‘global’ partnering in these hidden and evil endeavors, and you might as well throw out that entire band standing and preaching out the window.

July 26, 2018/ Steve Erdmann on J. Elbert Whitlow’s Timeline.  Stephen Erdmann

Alex Johnson:  Bingo, you got that right, as I said above, it is the ‘taboo’ to look at women as anything but innocent, helpless, holy little angels, even after they had committed all kinds of crimes and evil acts, we just keep them on a pedestal. Took millions of years to get that programmed.

The Legal Cabal ‘must’ define love and marriage because they are the ones that construct reality in the courtroom; literally, invent it. And it is set-up to facilitate this way because of the ‘money.’ If they can’t control the situation to make their ‘profit,’ they will construct ‘any’ human endeavor to control and profit from it. No escape. That is one reason they invented “Palimony” because people started living together outside of marriage to escape their greedy grasp, and they invented Palimony to fill that gap. You see how their minds work. Not just in personal relationships, but in every corner of society: control, control, control, greed, greed, greed.

August 18, 2018 in Group to Tony Elliott:    The more basic and even accurate cause of human slavery and suppression goes far beyond any “ism” or philosophy, it is despotism and tyrannical thinking and that is global. Trying to put human evil and the human ID Monster in nice, neat little ‘boxes’ only shows our failure to recognize the real culprit and the basic evil involved. All ‘leaders’ have shared this evil trend since history recorded. There is no political “safe haven,” and what is written on ‘paper’ is nothing but masks that hide this innate manipulation.

October 7, 2018.  Stephen Erdmann: This is ridiculous: democrats are pitch-perfect, holy, never make mistakes, are rational blameless creatures__ this goes against science, history and almost every other testimony. Ford was even speaking in a phony little girl- pity-me-pity-me voice, had a growing history of CIA and radical Left involvement, and this in our latest findings of Deep State Mind Control and deceptions of the Military-Industrial-Corporate-Complex-Matrix world that we sadly find ourselves in. Take a long cold look at history (which the mobsters and radical Left or Right refuse to do): humans are savages and all their doctrines and “isms” are just ‘masks’ to hide their evil behind. Turning politics into a savage mob action with verbal and physical ‘attacks’ belies any good intentions. It only gets worse, never better. Connecting the dots are only for the more intelligent historians, and they won’t shy away from finding the true culprits, which, sadly, are on both political aisles and even beyond all politics. Females and radical feminists always did have the upper hand against males with their innate sexuality which evolved over the eons and promote this symbiosis with the Legal Cabal. They are not now, and never have been, the powerless, innocent angles their mob-actions make them out to be. Even males will sell-out to protect this ‘TABOO’ under some misguided White Knight fantasy. Ask many of males that have had to confront the Legal Cabal and discover they have only five (5) foes when they are shanghaied into court: 1) His lawyer, 2) her lawyer, 3) the judge, 4) her innate sexuality, and the status (deceptive and hidden and masked) quo.


Facebook, June 16, 2019

Stephen Erdmann: I will share this, I just found my daughter at home, finally after many attempted visits; a totally different person than I last saw her and not at all like the little girl I knew at one time. Someone has been working hard on her behind the scenes, but I understand this is what happens to men and people that have been caught in the clutches of the Legal Cabal. It is called Parental Alienation Syndrome. I am beginning to understand some of the missing pieces and how — after five court modifications and sessions (each one is like a new divorce) —an attempt was by Jefferson City to even, after all these ‘finalized’ sessions, to collect more support (was disallowed and rebuked by a city of St. Louis judge). That would be session number six. She said I had abandoned her. Seems to me to have been the other way around, by her mother and other people. I would have gladly opened my arms and heart to her, if they would have just approached me in a respectful and proper way, rather than demonized and threaten me (as if I did not have enough to survive under.) There is so much more – much more – to the story, so much more – but no one to listen.

Any time the government and the Legal Cabal get their fingers in to your life, you are screwed, they will make you a slave or the court – men -women – any breathing person. They will try to destroy your life, take control to their satisfaction and profit. Same thing happens to men: there are just as many horror stories. The government does not care, it is all done to their agendas, I’ve lived with this for most of my life, as well as millions of other persons. It is not a lone-happening story but the slavery most people are living under and do not realize this, men, women, children, cats, dogs, anything that is breathing. I’ve been trying to fight it.

June 18, 2019: I have found, in most divorce alienation, that the legal system is only another factor that is further nails in the coffin, another wheel in the mechanization’s, added weight, that usually works against the participants. It certainly doesn’t help them, other than the legal system’s professed doctrines and advertised publicity. Add on to that, when one parent becomes the target of the narcissism and inherent psychosis of the other parent who, not only allows, but fosters and grows, and even programs (using their full power, availability. and ingenuity) the events — “that” becomes a powerful tool of the system. I have two daughter cats that I would in no time desert or do ill to. How much better animals are compared to the savagery of humans, and we could learn so much from them. What is also sad, is that my children will not now learn about the horrid details that I know about: the affairs and conspiracy that my ex-wife was involved in, ugly, cutting stories, for which I sought counseling to save the marriage and even had a remarriage in the church: all for naught, it was as if it was somehow planned behind the scenes as if a sheep led to the slaughter. In my case, even having being caught (the lovers eventually squealed on her) she wanted to get the paid-off family home (a lot of overtime) for her and her lover (s). They will never know how the stark and convoluted reality of all this hurts: you wouldn’t believe this, unless you saw it in a movie. And the deep scares it has left. The forlorn dreams of reconciliation with my children, which were killed many years ago, unbeknownst to me.

December 31, 2019: The connection between December 25th Pagan celebrations of Winter solstice, — the “gods” of antiquity, — “the sun dying, “– “Cursed Nimrod/Christmas’s Tree,” the Satanic Infanticide Tree, — and today Pauline god of Jesus Christ.

Pagan societies, such as the Carthaginians, ancient Greece and Rome had a very different view about the value of human life than we do today. They legalized and encouraged killing their children as religious sacrifices to their gods almost universally. Nor can it be said to be simply a practice to preserve few resources to save the whole culture, but it was practiced by rich, poor citizens and slaves.

Leading pagan leaders and philosophers also encouraged the practice of Infanticide. Cicero defended the Infanticide by referring to the Twelve Tables. Plato, Aristotle and Cornelius Tacitus recommended infanticide as legitimate state policy. (Histories 5.5.). Even Seneca, otherwise known for his relatively high moral standards, stated, “we drown children at birth who are weakly and abnormal.” (De Ira 1.15.) There is no dispute among historians and informed laypersons that Infanticide was incredibly widespread in the ancient pagan world.

In both approaches, infants were particularly vulnerable to infanticide by those that should have been protecting the helpless, were the ones who were killing them. It was very uncommon for even wealthy, upper-class families to have more than one daughter in ancient Greece and Rome. An inscription found in Delphi illustrates this quite well. Of more than 600 second-century families, only one percent had raised two daughters. It was openly approved, encouraged and a very common practice, as it was justified by law and advocated by philosophers in the Pagan society. (Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity, pages 97-98 & 118. See also: Durant, op. cit., page 56; Susan Scrimshaw, “Infanticide in Human Populations: Societal and Individual Concerns,” in Infanticide; Comparative and Evolutionary Perspectives, eds. Glenn Hausfater and Sarah Hardy, page 439.)

In Greece and ancient Rome a child was virtually its father’s chattel-e.g., in Roman law, the Patria Protestas granted the father the right to dispose of his offspring as he saw fit. In Sparta, the decision was made by a public official. The Twelve Tables of Roman Law held: “Deformed infants shall be killed” (De Legibus, 3.8.). Of course, deformed was broadly construed and often meant no more than the baby appeared “weakly.” The Twelve Tables also explicitly permitted a father to expose any female infant. (Stark, op. cit., page 118.).

According to Plutarch, the Carthaginians “offered up their own children, and those who had no children would buy little ones from poor people and cut their throats as if they were so many lambs of young birds; meanwhile the mothers stood by without a tear or moan.” (Moralia 2.17.). According to Wikipedia, “Infanticide was common in all well studied ancient cultures, including those of ancient Greece, Rome, India, China, and Japan” with many forms: a parent directly killing the child, usually by drowning. The infant was simply held underwater until it was dead. Relatively quick, inexpensive, and the water muffled the cries; In other forms, the family would simply take the child out beyond the city and abandon it to die from exposure to the elements. In sum, pagans practiced infanticide.

On a certain day during winter solstice of December 25th, pagan societies in ancient times would make a list of all the things they wanted to the false god of prosperity for the upcoming year according to the list they’d written. They would line up with their children in their hand and they would heat their hands on this horror cast idol iron of the god of prosperity’s burning statue’s hot hands until their hands were red as a fire brand, then place and burning their babies and small children alive on the burning idol statue’s hot hands of the god of prosperity as an offering for prosperity. Amidst the hideous stench of burning flesh, and the screams and cries of hundreds of babies pierced the night air, until nothing remained except charred ashes. The people in the ancient world would begin to celebrate their false gods (they worshiped many) This practice was known in the bible as making your children pass through the fire. It was ritual child sacrifice and absolutely cursed by the One God of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac.

Various ancient celebrations honoring this most blood-thirsty false gods prevalent today such as Christmas Eve, Baby New Year (the symbol of the child-victim), and the Janus false god (January) New year’s Eve macabre pagan holiday are tied to one another and have come down to the today world Christmas traditions celebrated on December 25th honoring the Jesuits and Molechian Zionists New World Order who want 90 per cent of the whole world dead in Purim (star pentagon) human sacrificed to Lucifer according to the Georgia Guidestones.

Early Christian documents reveal that there was a clash of cultures when Christianity converted previously pagan Romans and Greeks by instructing them that infanticide was immoral and murder. (The Didache, 90 -110 CE). Another early Christian document, the Epistle of Barnabas (130 CE), also explicitly condemned infanticide and prohibited its practices as necessary parts of the “way of light.” Moreover, by the end of the second century, “Christians were not only proclaiming their rejection of abortion and infanticide, but had begun direct attacks on pagans, and especially pagan religions for sustaining such crimes,” as the accepted practice. (Stark, op. cit., page 125., Robin L. Fox op. cit., page 350.).

But so long as Christianity remained a disfavored–and sometimes persecuted–religion, their appeals to the pagan government to act against infanticide were ineffectual in changing government policy. This Christian ‘brotherly love’ has been minimized as a reason for turning to the Church, as if only those who were members could know of it. In fact, it was widely recognized,” according to Durant, “in many instances Christians rescued exposed infant, baptized them, and brought them up with the aid of community funds.” Through these efforts, Christians worked to diminish some of the causes of infanticide. (Fox,op. cit., page 324., Durant, op. cit., page 598.) Clearly, one unique and valuable contribution of Christianity to Western Civilization was its opposition to infanticide. “but these patterns persisted among pagans far into the Christian era.” (Stark, op. cit., page 97-98.)

Christmas Tree “Cursed Nimrod’s Tree,” the Satanic Infanticide Celebration Tree on December 25th.
Christmas trees were originally decorated with burning candles made from the fat of the burned bodies of child sacrifice victims. Instead of Christmas balls, decapitated heads of sacrificial child victims were hung from the tree. Caroling was originally done by rotund old fat naked singers engaging in licentious behavior. Instead of Santa, they worshiped death, the grim reaper with his scythe (false god Saturn) who demanded child sacrifice. It is a grotesque blood splattered gore fest of barbaric sadistic delight for devil worshippers

The bible forbids putting up the Christmas tree: Jeremiah 10:1-4. Deuteronomy 16:21, Acts 17:29, just as is repeated over and over in the Qur’an that Nimrod cast Abraham on fire, and the bible says in book of chronicles, ‘the kings would not get rid of the high places, the idols, groves and other items of pagan worship and after their deaths, they did wickedly in the sight of the Lord. They will burn in hell for their involvement in paganism.’ The Christmas tree is Zaqqoum, the cursed tree as depicted in (the Qur’an17:60, 37:62 -68, 44:43, 56:52), inimical to the Abrahamic Monotheistic Tree of Ishmael & Isaac.

The Zaqqoum “Cursed Nimrod’s Tree” that springs out of the bottom of hell’ is known when Nimrod married Semiramis (i.e. Dumez and Inanna). The Anunnaki used to marry their first- and second-degree relatives, in order to preserve their “royal” blood and the right to the throne. Semiramis later became known as Ishtar, which is pronounced… Easter. Ishtar and Moloch like all other Anunnaki “gods”, because of his long life span, they were known by many names throughout history, among which: Molech, Nimrod or Ba’al (which was the highest possible title, meaning Lord). But his first name was Morduch, and he was the son of the supreme Anunnaki leader on Earth, Enki, and his wife Damkina.

The Zaqqoum began shortly after the flood with the birth of Tammuz as the reincarnation of Nimrod. When Nimrod/Dumez died, his cousin-wife Semiramis/Inanna, claimed that a full-grown evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead tree stump. And the New Year is coming in as a young child portrayed as children ready to be sacrificed. The New Year’s still to come are Victims of child sacrifice were always heavily veiled so that their parents would not recognize when their child was burned.
The pagan Romans honored the false god, Saturn, who was usually depicted holding a scythe (death’s sickle). Saturn IS the grim reaper, the figure that emerges from and who is looking after children and demanded them for child sacrifice. It wasn’t just the romans, even some Israelites and pre-Islamic Ishmaelites (Arab Jahiliyyah) turned from the One God of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, and even offered their children in sacrifice to this vile bloodthirsty Saturn false gods.

It’s pagan chronic pedophiles infanticide filth! The recent kings of the North in the Illuminati and Freemasonry Occult still practicing a chilling representation of “Father Time” and “Baby New Year” that can be found in many illustrations from the 19th century. Father Time is Saturn, the god of time is standing in front of a large clock, holding his scythe illustrated that the old years kids are passing away as full-grown raped, tortured and murdered, their bodies wrapped in burial shrouds. They do so as the Illuminati and Freemasonry occult privacy pact so they won’t rat out group activities of the coven. If they ever betray the occult privacy pact, they are ousted with their names flashed across the world news channels as being a pedophile to completely destroy them.

It is a reason why we have human sacrifices all over the planet, in some of the most prevalent cultures, is because the Anunnaki required them. Hundreds of thousands of children are kidnapped every single year, most times with the help of the highest religious institutions such as the Vatican, NWO Secret Evil Agenda in Britain and USA and practiced it behind closed doors by powerful secret societies such as the Illuminati, Skull & Bones and the highest-ranking Freemasons. They are sacrificed and dedicated for Purim blood sacrifices to Lucifer (Moloch) on Wars for Business Religion (profit and power). The burial sites for the bones and ashes of sacrificed children have been unearthed. These places were known as Tophet’s.


800.000 American children disappear every year
One Every 40 seconds only in USA

Now, there are two versions of the story, one stating that Dumez’s anniversary was on December 25th and his spirit would visit the evergreen tree every year on this date to leave gifts upon it. The second version states that the son of Semiramis, Tammuz, by his dead husband, Dumez, was born on December 25th. Whatever version is true, two things are clear: the Zaqqoum “Christmas tree” is in fact “Cursed Nimrod’s Tree” and December 25th is a Satanic celebration! Inanna image was idolized in the statue of Lady Liberty. (See: The Secret Worship of the Illuminati: The Statue of Liberty is Anunnaki Goddess Inanna.)

“Do not kill your children for fear of poverty; it is We Who provide for them as well as for you. Killing them is surely a grave sin.”(the Qur’an 17.31)

The “gods” of antiquity.
Though romans quit offering human sacrifice early on, but blood was still spilled for the “gods” of antiquity by the gladiators during the saturnalia celebrations in December and even Africans predominantly worshipped Saturn and were too killing their children to this ruthless fictional representation of false god Saturn (Satan) that he set up to deceive people. A false god Saturn is satanic child killing deity and had attributes most similar to Satan himself. Christmas is his religious festival. Participation in Christmas celebrations gives honor to this evil of false god Saturn.

Other “gods” of antiquity is Che mosh, the horned one (aka Molech, Krampus: the false god of witches, etc.) was represented as a huge cast iron statue in the shape of a horned god with an extended hands as if he is ready to receive something. It was known as the god of prosperity. Also, Krampus is a Christmas devil companion of Santa (i.e. anagram for Satan) who punishes children by beating them with a stick or steals them in his sack. Google images of Nimrud bags/sacks. It is currently Israel Secret Intelligence Service’s (ISIS) sacks filled with human heads.

The figure resembles another horned being, that of Moloch (i.e. Anunnaki “god” Morduch) who was also given children through fire or to a giant throne. But that is another pagan/Anunnaki “Easter. Celebration” that was adopted by modern religions. The “gods” then used to eat the fresh hearts of the sacrificed children and drink their adrenaline-filled blood. Today’s highest ranking prelates still conduct these rituals in secret ceremonies, while the rest of them are required to conduct an open phony version of the same ritual, the liturgy/mass.

The “gods” of antiquity were flesh and bones Anunnaki and the so called “pagan” religions that followed all the grotesque elements of this hideous gods are contained in worshipped them under different names and almost identical cult rituals. This cannibalistic traditions and occult rituals of the Liturgy/Mass is the most prevalent of all today’s the so called “pagan” religions that followed, worshiped them under different names and almost with identical occult rituals of paganism (i.e. the worship of the Anunnaki colonizers “flesh and bones”), and including Christianity, in which all Christians across the planet are required to pretend drinking the blood and eating the flesh of – allegedly – Jesus Christ. The bishop clothes, miter and staff of today’s prelates are identical to those of the Babylonian priests of Dagon, which represented their god-fish Dagon (i.e. Enki wearing his astronaut suit and staff-shaped weapon).

The connection between the Pagan celebrations of Winter solstice, “the sun dying” and the today Pauline god of Jesus Christ.

According to popular tradition, Christmas is celebrated on 25 th December to honor the birth of Jesus. However, no records exist in the Bible or elsewhere to suggest that Jesus was actually born on this date, which raises the important question – why is Christmas celebrated on 25 December? In fact, the selection of this date has its root in both Persian and paganism gods traditions.

The Catholic Encyclopedia admits “there is no month in the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned Christ’s birth.” Since it appears unlikely that Jesus was born on 25th December, it raises the logical question of why Christmas is celebrated on this date. The answer points back to the Romans’ pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. Two celebrations in particular took place around December 25 – the Saturnalia, and the birthday of the Sun god, Mithra (Catholic Encyclopedia). The Saturnalia festival began on 17 th December and later expanded with festivities through to the 25 December. It paid tribute to Saturn, the agricultural god of Sowing and Husbandry, and was associated with the renewal of light and the coming of the new year. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice in the Temple of Saturn, a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere

Followers of the cult of Mithras, which became popular among the military in the Roman Empire from the 1 st to 4 th centuries AD, are believed to have celebrated his birthday on 25th December, which was the most holy day of the year for many Romans. The worship of the Sun god, Mithra (proto-Indo-Iranian ‘Mitra’), has its origin in Persia, from around the 6 th century BC, and was later adapted into Greek as ‘Mithras’. The most popular hypothesis is that Roman soldiers encountered this religion during military excursions to Persia.

While it is widely accepted that the Mithraic New Year and the birthday of Mithras was on 25 December and was celebrated on this day as part of the Roman Natali’s Invictus festival, others have argued that the Natali’s Invictus was a general festival of the sun, and was not specific to the Mysteries of Mithras. Nevertheless, it is clear that 25 December was an important day for the Romans and revolved around a celebration of the sun.

There are, however, a number of reasons to suggest that Jesus was probably not born in December. Firstly, Luke 2:8 states that on the night of Jesus’ birth ” there were also in that same country shepherds living out of doors and keeping watches in the night over their flocks.” Many scholars agree that this would have been unlikely in December, as shepherds would have been keeping their flock under cover during the cold winter months. Some scholars have stated that shepherds would not watch their flock overnight in December but would keep them under cover. ‘The Good Shepherd’ from the early Christian catacomb of Domitila/Donatella (Crypt of Lucina, 200-300 CE). ( Wikimedia Commons ). Secondly, it is written in the Bible that Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census (Luke 2:1-4). However, such censuses were not taken in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition.

The Pagan solstice dates to celebrate the return of the sun (…son) were absorbed into the Christian calendar so that there would be a link to encourage pagans to give up their beliefs and gods and move to Christianity. Some claim to have found a lot of pangamic parallels and similarities with Christianity, particularly in the cult of the god Attis. Attis was associated with the goddess Cybele. The cult of Attis was a religion which involved orgiastic rites and rituals. The priests of the religion, the Gallai, were eunuchs. This requirement was part of a re-enactment of one of the principle myths regarding Attis and Cybele. It is also claimed that Attis was born on December 25th and that he was born of the virgin, Nana, and that Attis died on a tree and rose from the dead. Or of Isis, the Egyptian goddess who fed the Nile with her tears and, in the past, was responsible for nurturing Pharaoh and giving him his divine power to govern Egypt effectively. Mithra, the sun-god of Mithraism, said to be born on December 25th, but also Osiris, Horus, Hercules, Bacchus, Adonis, Jupiter, [Nimrod]/Tammuz, and other sun-gods were also supposedly born at what is today called the ‘Christmas’ season, the winter solstice!” (“The Two Babylon’s” by Alexander Hislop, p.93.)

When King Constantine converted to Christianity in the fourth century, he had quite a challenge ahead of him with regard to converting an empire full of pagans. It was therefore decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus on a date that was already sacred according to pagan traditions. So as a compromise with paganism and in an attempt to give the pagan holidays Christian significance, it was simply decided that the birthday of the Sun God would also be the birthday of the Son of God. The Catholic Encyclopedia quotes an early Christian with saying, “O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born…. Christ should be born”.

Isa al-Masih (Christ) is stolen from us and renamed because King Constantine felt his god was superior to the Christ and it was done to make it easier for his Pagani Empire to convert..

Biblical Evidence Shows Jesus Christ Wasn’t Born on Dec. 25

You can reach Steve Erdmann – at  – dissenterdisinter@yahoo.com or independenterdmann@gmail.com.
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I can’t believe my Eyes!

Believing is not Seeing

Posted on  by steveerdmann      Rate This

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widely spread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.”  Anthony De Mello

By: Steve Erdmann

A similar article can be found at https://wordpresscom507.wordpress.com/2021/11/12/believing-is-not-seeing/

              BREAK AWAY MAN

It is always refreshing when trained and thoroughly experienced investigators suggest fresh and overlooked avenues of a scientific phenomenon. Dr. John B. Alexander has done that with his ideas of a “step back process” to study precognitive sentient phenomena (PSP), of which UFOs are certainly a part, but only a part, of an all-encompassing and “anfractuous” phenomenon “beyond current comprehension”.

Dr. John B. Alexander, author of The Warrior’s Edge, speaks as a Green Beret combat veteran, a retired Colonel – U.S Army Project Manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory, NATO studies of nonlethal weapons, the National Research Council, Council on Foreign Relations, a consultant to the National Intelligence Council, the CIA, the U.S Special Operations Command, and the Army Science Board (UFOS: Myths, Conspiracies, andRealities, St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York 10010, 2011, $25.99. 305 pages).

Alexander “DE myths” at the same time he supports the reality of the phenomena.  One of the major fallacies, he says, is that the government is in the “know” and THEY are out to cover up the facts. To the contrary, Alexander set up an Advanced Theoretical Physics Project (ATP) to try and discover if such an “inner sanctum” group exists. Alexander queried many very high-security, high-level personnel:  they all assumed THEY existed but no one knew who THEY were.

“The ultimate answer appears to be that nobody does have that responsibility,” says Alexander. “While this notion runs counter to all of the conspiracy theorists’ proclamations, that was the bottom line.”

The other myth he contends with, aside from THEY, is that surely the government must be expending large amounts of “black budget money” to study UFOs, crashed or otherwise; and it largely has to do with The Budget and priorities.

“As big as the DOD budget is, it remains the aforementioned zero-sum game, meaning for every project that gains funding, another must lose theirs,” says Alexander.  “Interdepartmental, as well as intradepartmental, battles over funding are vicious and played by the most ruthless, merciless bastards on the planet.”

The DOD is run by Program Objective Memorandum or POM.

Department of Defense and other government programs are “a continual process in which programs are constantly being evaluated with a myriad of comptroller vultures waiting to pounce on any perceived programmatic weakness,” says Alexander.  “Just note that most research and development programs, as well training funds, have taken tremendous cuts and are constantly under scrutiny as bill payers (sources from which funds can be transferred to other projects).” 

Funds are usually already dedicated to some current project and hawkish eyes plan theft on various levels; even Black Projects are not exempt from oversight: They have Technical Review Committees and bodies that determine what gets funded or not.

“With highly classified programs, there are fewer legislators involved in the process,” says Alexander, “but they are there.” The Department of Defense (DOD) fits under the Executive Branch, and everything comes together to the President of the United States, (even with his aides) “over everything: just because a program is Black does not allow underlings to determine the validity of reporting acquired information.”


U.S government agencies usually run out of money long before they run out of projects with validated requirements.  When extralegal or clandestine means to move funds are attempted there are catastrophic results; huge cross-jurisdictional issues, resulting in Congressional and criminal investigations of misapplication of funds. Even “flexions” (powerful players who move seamlessly from opposing positions of power) are not agile enough to operate above all the sectors.  I am reminded of the eventual exposure of the BCCI banking scandal; as well as the Mafia-CIA associations in the 1960s; others.

‘When you consider the number of people who would have had access to critical information over a period of more than a half a century,” says Alexander, “the resulting silence on UFO matters does not make sense.”

Worse yet, when key individuals “express a personal interest in UFOs”, and they are mistakenly to mean their organizations accept responsibility or involvement in studying the phenomena – which they don’t have.

The truth of the matter is, says Alexander, that the government has never been able to get anything right – including UFO investigation. Just look at the mess they’ve made of things such as bungling secrecy, war, money, and other responsibilities on down the years.


Surprisingly, the governments have disclosed from time to time, as individuals, that UFOs are real (as one example, Alexander cites Colonel General Igor Maitsev’s, Chief of Staff of the Soviet Air Dense Forces statement of March, 1990: “Skeptics and believers both can take this as official confirmation of the existence of UFOs”).  Generals, Presidents, Congressmen have stated their belief in the reality of UFOs.  What governments have not  been willing to do is to endorse a bogus theory or unequivocally uphold subjective and private fantasies.

“The probability of an all-out invasion by hostile extraterrestrials may rank in Hollywood, but it is deemed as an extraordinarily low probability by officials who would be responsible for organizing a human response,” says Alexander, “It is in this content that the role of the U.S government‘s involvement is studying UFOs should be examined.”

Instead, Alexander is impressed by “The Trickster” actions of PSP and the Catch-22 involved, which officials run away from and can’t handle, or they are somehow “held back.”

Alexander, however, doesn’t skimp on sensational PSP cases: one is the Cash-Landrum case; another is the March 16, 1967, Maelstrom Air Force Base case; the Robert Salas case; the December,1980 Royal Air Force at Bent waters, United Kingdom case; the Skin walker-ranch-Utah-Bigelow case; and many others. Unfortunately, the public (especially UFO ‘believers’) assumes the government has a deep interest in UFOs just because anomalies are reported.  Alexander says this is not true: “Large institutions are very bureaucratic in nature.”

Many officials are heavily restrained by ridicule to their careers if they spoke assertively on UFOs. Likewise, Alexander says: “There is no credible evidence that reverse-engineered ARV exist (Alien Reproduction Vehicles from UFO crashes).” THEY supposedly have captured the secrets of limitless energy at very low cost—which come under the ownership of the American people—and solve most of the “massive socio-economic problems” facing mankind.  This hasn’t  happened.

Apparently, as well, according to Alexander, Ben Rich of the super-secret Skunk Works, denies his previous alleged comments about ETs and Black Projects.


(“Irrational thinking will never be overcome by empirical evidence.” Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.)

Particularly interesting is Alexander’s comments on skeptics and their psychological problems. Alexander lists cases of Precognitive Sentient Phenomena – some very startling and striking – and many suggesting that the extraterrestrial hypothesis is too limited.  The skeptics, he says, are not geared to study PSP because of mental defects:

“Nor is it likely that any amount of evidence would persuade them to change their minds.  While I consider myself to be rather skeptical of many claims, with good reason, they would better be classified as debunkers. The basic premise is that these anomalous events can’t be true, therefore they aren’t. If they cannot disprove the anomaly, they assume that the prosaic, commonplace answer has not yet been found – but they are equally confident that none exists.  Facts are not of consequence, just inconvenient details and often ignored.”

Alexander says such “debunkers” suffer from a mental disorder of sorts which he calls cerebral centrism, “a typical American position in which we believe that we are smarter than everyone else.”  Some believe that 99 percent of everything science will learn has already been discovered.  UFOs are usually reduced to ‘flares’ and ‘astronomical bodies.’

The debunkers reply on discussing weak cases, and their extrapolating to the whole field.  Debunkers believe in the impossibility of these events; however, as Hal Puthoff notes and Alexander says. “….they are not sufficiently skeptical to question the views – ones that often do not fit the facts of the situation – that are aligned with their own mythology.”  Fear, atheism, hostility towards religion, animus about new horizons in physics are known threads in the psychopathology of debunkers.


The ‘flip side’ of this aberration-coin is just as frightening, if not more so.  Alexander acknowledges that a larger percentage of the population has elements of mental illness, particularly various forms of schizoid illness and schizophrenia.

“The fantasies associated with UFO phenomena are boundless…created an exotic tapestry…important downside for serious research…outrageous tales provide fodder for ad hominem attacks…having serious mental health problems is far greater than generally imagined…” (Pages 267-268)

The last two mentioned factors alone can be an epidemic that has scared away serious interest by the government and led to ventures like the riddance of the UFO Project by the Air Force and the creation of the Condon UFO Committee – as well as the continual avoidance by the public.  What do you do with blatantly uncontrollable phantasmagoria; and what about the accompanying fraud?


One added aspect is that of revisionism and obliteration of history:

  • For example, Alexander and Hal Puthoff have determined the mystical MJ-12 documents have originated in a real “Continuity of Government” (COG) plan created under President Eisenhower in the early post-World War II days, to prevent nuclear decapitation of the U.S government. The creation of the National Security Act, the National Security Council, and the Central Intelligence Agency emerged almost simultaneously, close to September 18, 1947, and near the MJ-12 date of September 24, 1947. The COG plan also created “hardened secret underground bases” and other “hidden subterranean facilities.”  The barebones description of MJ-12 dovetails with a “dearth of written substantiation” of the COG. UFO enthusiasts doctored such classified documents and weaved a tale of extraterrestrial cover, and the UFO community further took the myth to all-time heights.
  • A local St. Louis UFO Study Group does the same historical “revisionism” recreation, playing with facts and dates, even subtlety using innuendo for added distortion. The Study Group was basically “kicked off” in earliest meetings in the first few months of Winter/Spring 1967 under the tutorship and direction of UFO authority John Schuessler, at the time, an engineer at McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft, and St. Louis A.P.R.O and N.I.C.A.P members (including August Hearst, Arthur Epstein, Ray Nelke, Cliff Palmberg, Richard Phillips, David Schroth, for a few) who sent out press and news releases and had public announcements in local newspapers, including Walt Andrus’ Skylook Magazine.  After a few years, and newer members, the group decided to incorporate under Missouri law in 1971. Much later, narcissistic, and biased members, wishing to bolster their standing in the UFO community and hide these earliest facts, stated that they somehow heralded the creation of the Study Group and that the Study Group was created near their membership times:
  • A likewise situation would be that President Obama or President Clinton, and their “administrations,” claimed that the true beginnings of the Republic and Confederacy of the United States began with them, and not mention the earliest sparks of origin in William Penn, Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, Benedict Arnold, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Daniel Dulany, John Page, Richard Henry Lee, William Randolph, Peyton Randolph, Betsy Ross, John Berry, Gilbert Mutier, John Marshall and many others who lit the fires of America. Or, claim that Constantine in 328 A.D, by dedicating the Basilica of St. Peter – or possibly Pope Gregory –  as the first, true and real beginnings of the Christian Church, avoiding, hiding and failing to mention the original twelve disciples including Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Judas, Peter, Thomas some 300 odd years earlier.

The revisionist’s goal is narcissism, ego-satiation, and fantasy: not full and true history (Alexander spends considerable time analyzing Philip Corso’s tale on Roswell as one example of possible historical embellishment).

(Steve Erdmann has prepared a large volume of material on the original creation of the Study Group available for the first time and purchasable at the given below address at the cost of $30.00 a volume)


(“You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” Mark Twain.)

John Alexander is to be commended for his attempts to bring added insight, with a seasoning of common sense, to the topic of UFOs and PSPs, though one can still wonder about some of his conclusions.  For example, if PSPs have cases of unfriendly, even destructive, happenings (such as physical damage, like radiation burns, animal mutilations), how can people in government keep saying “there is no threat”?  And if UFO stories and PSP phenomena are so awash in mental illness and hoaxing, what would asking the public to get into a reporting frenzy invite (page 270): would we not be inundated with a flood of liars?  Should we not first contend with these blockages before rather than as we venture ahead? It is hoped that Alexander will address these topics further.

“Based on credible witnesses and backed by Physical evidence, I conclude that UFO observations are manifestations of issues that are anfractuous and beyond current comprehension,” concludes Alexander. “The extraterrestrial hypothesis is but one possibility, and probably not the best fit with the facts…we must beware of the Puzzle Paradox that plagues the field with UFOs we are still collecting various disparate pieces…contumacious puzzle.”

Those wishing to contact Steve Erdmann may reach him at independenterdmann@gmail.com


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When we never Learn!

An analysis of a Crisis

Posted on  by steveerdmann      Rate This

Edited by Steve Erdmann

Bibliography of the late, great aftermath of the 2008 financial Wall Street Crisis

In 2008 a financial crisis enveloped America and spread to the world.  We apparently had not learned “our lesson” from previous financial crises. This one involved fancy Wall Street shorts and options and insurance, almost as if “someone” at the “top” –  (“someone[s]”)  –  wanted to play with the markets and make a lot of money – also by controlling – not only the people in America but people all over the world; indeed, like a deadly virus out of a Bruce Willis 1995 Twelve Monkeys movie where James COLE sees 99% of the population whiped out or THE 2011 Rise of the Planet Of The Apes  movie where the 113 serum has a viral effect on humans, whipping out the human race, the 2008 financial crisis also spread around the world.

The following is a cavalcade of events in the news outlining the cause, progression and fruition of that “versus”.

Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz – Aug 22, 2011 –  7:19 AM EST

Chief executive officers from eight of the largest U.S. banks receiving government aid testify at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C on Feb. 11, 2009.

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley, got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup Inc. took $99.5 billion and Bank of America Corp. $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress. Erik Schatzker and Sara Eisen report on Bloomberg Television’s “Inside Track.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) — Robert Eisenbeis, chief monetary economist at Cumberland Advisors Inc., talks about $1.2 trillion of public money the U.S. Federal Reserve secretly loaned to Wall Street banks and other companies. Eisenbeis, speaking with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line,” also discusses the outlook for Fed monetary policy and the U.S. economy. (Source: Bloomberg)

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) — Robert E. Litan, a former Justice Department official who in the 1990s served on a commission probing the causes of the savings and loan crisis, now vice president at the Kansas City, Missouri-based Kauffman Foundation, Richard Herring, a finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Roger Lister, a former Fed economist who’s now head of financial-institutions coverage at credit-rating firm DBRS Inc., and Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and now an economics professor at Harvard University, talk about the U.S. government’s $1.2 trillion bailout of the banking system and the outlook for regulatory overhaul of the industry. (Source: Bloomberg)Play Video

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) — Neil Barofsky, former special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and a Bloomberg Television contributing editor, talks about the Federal Reserve’s emergency loans during the financial crisis. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress.  Barofsky speaks with Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television’s “Inside Track.” (Source: Bloomberg) Play Video

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) — Charles Peabody, an analyst at Portales Partners LLC, and Bloomberg reporter Bradley Keoun discuss the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending programs and the capital position of U.S. banks.  They speak with Erik Schatzker and Michael McKee on Bloomberg Television’s “Inside Track.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion From Fed

Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.

Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs; Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase and Co.; Robert  P.Kelly, CEO of the Bank of New York; Ken Lewis, CEO of the Bank of America; Ronald E. Logue, CEO of State Street; John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley; Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup; and John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo, testify during the House Financial Services oversight hearing of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Two weeks after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy triggered a global credit crisis, Morgan Stanley countered concerns that it might be next to go by announcing it had ‘strong capital and liquidity positions.’

Two weeks after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy triggered a global credit crisis, Morgan Stanley countered concerns that it might be next to go by announcing it had ‘strong capital and liquidity positions.’ A Wall Street sign stands outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret.

A Wall Street sign stands outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret. Citigroup Inc., along with Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc., were the biggest borrowers under seven U.S. Federal Reserve emergency-lending programs.

Citigroup Inc., along with Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc., were the biggest borrowers under seven U.S. Federal Reserve emergency-lending programs. The Federal Reserve provided as much as $1.2 trillion in public money to banks and other companies from August 2007 through April 2010 to head off a depression.

The Federal Reserve provided as much as $1.2 trillion in public money to banks and other companies from August 2007 through April 2010 to head off a depression. Source: Bloomberg

Morgan Stanley, along with Citigroup Inc., and Bank of America Corp., were the biggest borrowers under seven Fed emergency-lending programs. The three banks’ combined $298.2 billion in hidden Fed loans was triple what they received in publicly disclosed bailouts from the U.S. Treasury.

Morgan Stanley, along with Citigroup Inc., and Bank of America Corp., were the biggest borrowers under seven Fed emergency-lending programs. The three banks’ combined $298.2 billion in hidden Fed loans was triple what they received in publicly disclosed bailouts from the U.S. Treasury. Bank of America Corp., along with Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. was one of the biggest borrowers under the U.S. Federal Reserve’s emergency-lending programs. The three banks’ combined $298.2 billion in hidden Fed loans was triple what they received in publicly disclosed bailouts from the U.S. Treasury.

Bank of America Corp., along with Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. was one of the biggest borrowers under the U.S. Federal Reserve’s emergency-lending programs. The three banks’ combined $298.2 billion in hidden Fed loans was triple what they received in publicly disclosed bailouts from the U.S. Treasury. The Royal Bank of Scotland took $84.5 billion in loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s emergency-lending programs.

The Royal Bank of Scotland took $84.5 billion in loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s emergency-lending programs. UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, got $77.2 billion in loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s emergency-lending programs.

UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, got $77.2 billion in loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s emergency-lending programs. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets. U.S. Federal Reserve borrowings by Societe Generale SA, France’s second-biggest bank, peaked at $17.4 billion in May 2008, four months after the Paris-based lender announced a record 4.9 billion-euro ($7.2 billion) loss on unauthorized stock-index futures bets by former trader Jerome Kerviel.

months after the Paris-based lender announced a record 4.9 billion-euro ($7.2 billion) loss on unauthorized stock-index futures bets by former U.S. Federal Reserve borrowings by Societe Generale SA, France’s second-biggest bank, peaked at $17.4 billion in May 2008, four trader Jerome Kerviel.

Finance ‘Aristocracy’ Took $1.2 Trillion in Loans

U.S. Federal Reserve borrowings by Societe Generale SA, France’s second-biggest bank, peaked at $17.4 billion in May 2008, four months after the Paris-based lender announced a record 4.9 billion-euro ($7.2 billion) loss on unauthorized stock-index futures bets by former trader Jerome Kerviel.

U.S. Federal Reserve borrowings by Societe Generale SA, France’s second-biggest bank, peaked at $17.4 billion in May 2008, four months after the Paris-based lender announced a record 4.9 billion-euro ($7.2 billion) loss on unauthorized stock-index futures bets by former trader Jerome Kerviel. Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.

By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, $669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley (MS), got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress.

“These are all whopping numbers,” said Robert Litan, a former Justice Department official who in the 1990s served on a commission probing the causes of the savings and loan crisis. “You’re talking about the aristocracy of American finance going down the tubes without the federal money down the tubes without the federal money.”

Foreign Borrowers

It wasn’t just American finance.

Almost half of the Fed’s top 30 borrowers, measured by peak balances, were European firms. They included Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, which took $84.5 billion, the most of any non-U.S. lender, and Zurich-based UBS AG (UBSN), which got $77.2 billion. Germany’s Hypo Real Estate Holding AG borrowed $28.7 billion, an average of $21 million for each of its 1,366 employees.

The largest borrowers also included Dexia SA (DEXB), Belgium’s biggest bank by assets, and Societe Generale SA, based in Paris, whose bond-insurance prices have surged in the past month as investors speculated that the spreading sovereign debt crisis in Europe might increase their chances of default.

The $1.2 trillion peak on Dec. 5, 2008 — the combined outstanding balance under the seven programs tallied by Bloomberg — was almost three times the size of the U.S. federal budget deficit that year and more than the total earnings of all federally insured banks in the U.S. for the decade through 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Peak Balance

The balance was more than 25 times the Fed’s pre-crisis lending peak of $46 billion on Sept. 12, 2001, the day after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. Denominated in $1 bills, the $1.2 trillion would fill 539 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The Fed has said it had “no credit losses” on any of the emergency programs, and a report by Federal Reserve Bank of New York staffers in February said the central bank netted $13 billion in interest and fee income from the programs from August 2007 through December 2009.

“We designed our broad-based emergency programs to both effectively stem the crisis and minimize the financial risks to the U.S. taxpayer,” said James Clouse, deputy director of the Fed’s division of monetary affairs in Washington. “Nearly all of our emergency-lending programs have been closed. We have incurred no losses and expect no losses.”

While the 18-month U.S. recession that ended in June 2009 after a 5.1 percent contraction in gross domestic product was nowhere near the four-year, 27 percent decline between August 1929 and March 1933, banks and the economy remain stressed.

Odds of Recession

The odds of another recession have climbed during the past six months, according to five of nine economists on the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, an academic panel that dates recessions.

Bank of America’s bond-insurance prices last week surged to a rate of $342,040 a year for coverage on $10 million of debt, above where Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEHMQ)’s bond insurance was priced at the start of the week before the firm collapsed. Citigroup’s shares are trading below the split-adjusted price of $28 that they hit on the day the bank’s Fed loans peaked in January 2009.

The U.S. unemployment rate was at 9.1 percent in July, compared with 4.7 percent in November 2007, before the recession began.

Homeowners are more than 30 days past due on their mortgage payments on 4.38 million properties in the U.S., and 2.16 million more properties are in foreclosure, representing a combined $1.27 trillion of unpaid principal, estimates Jacksonville, Florida-based Lender Processing Services Inc.

Liquidity Requirements

“Why in hell does the Federal Reserve seem to be able to find the way to help these entities that are gigantic?” U.S. Representative Walter B. Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, said at a June 1 congressional hearing in Washington on Fed lending disclosure.

“They get help when the average businessperson down in eastern North Carolina, and probably across America, they can’t even go to a bank they’ve been banking with for 15 or 20 years and get a loan.”

The sheer size of the Fed loans bolsters the case for minimum liquidity requirements that global regulators last year agreed to impose on banks for the first time, said Litan, now a vice president at the Kansas City, Missouri-based Kauffman Foundation, which supports entrepreneurship research.

 August 24, 2011 – By Keith Fitz-Gerald, Chief Investment Strategist, Money Morning

Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), has hired high-profile criminal defense lawyer Reid Weingarten.   This is a game changer even if we don’t yet know where the fire is. Blankfein has led the firm for six years and spent the past two dealing with allegations of conflicts of interest and fraud. A Senate report released in April said Goldman dumped subprime loan exposure onto unsuspecting clients during the mortgage meltdown and then in 2010 gave Congress misleading testimonials about the firm’s actions. So far, Blankfein has not been accused of any crime or crimes. That means, and I cannot stress this strongly enough, that he is innocent in the court of law – even if he is held slightly above pond scum in the court of public opinion for his and Goldman’s role in causing the financial crisis. Under the circumstances, I cannot help but wonder:

Is the U.S. government’s investigation into Goldman Sachs (and other financial houses) gaining momentum and has the government notified Blankfein that he is a person of interest in one or more of those cases?

Is there a whistleblower inside Goldman, or are there key players who have “rolled over” in an attempt to protect themselves?

Is Blankfein retaining Weingarten personally on his nickel? If so, at whose direction? (I also can’t help but wonder if Goldman’s interests and those of its senior executives have separated as a result of the increased legal scrutiny…)

Could Blankfein have some sense of what’s in the wind and simply be making a preemptive grab to obtain the best counsel before others who also will need criminal counsel do the same thing?

Or is there something as simple as a conflict of interest that has yet to emerge publicly?

At this point there are more questions than answers…but I have a feeling this won’t remain the case for long.
Allegations against Goldman of trading against its clients and favoring certain clients over others will not fade quietly into the night this time around, with the global financial crisis having wiped a whopping 
$28 trillion from global markets in 2008.
The news of Blankfein’s hire pushed down Goldman shares 4.7% late Monday to close at $106.51.

August 24, 2011 – By Keith Fitz-Gerald, Chief Investment Strategist, Money Morning

I hate to sound alarmist, but it looks as though the European banking system – and consequently the global banking system – is edging its way towards another epic collapse. That means in just a few short months, stocks could be back at their 2009 lows while gold prices travel north of $2,500 an ounce. This is the worst-case scenario that’s been bandied about ever since Europe’s debt problems first came to light.  How do we know that this is what’s happening? Because somebody is having trouble obtaining the money they need — and they just borrowed it from the lender of last resort. The European Central Bank (ECB) last week lent $500 million dollars to an undisclosed Eurozone bank through a credit mechanism that had been dormant for the past 12 months, with the exception of one $70 million draw in February.
This comes as no surprise – the warning signs have always been there.  In fact, 
I warned Money Morning readers just a few weeks ago that the Eurozone could have its own American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) – or worse, its own Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. (PINK: LEHMQ) – lurking somewhere in the shadows. Still, while this may not surprise you, it certainly surprised the heck out of the rose-colored glasses crowd that can’t seem to understand the European sovereign debt crisis is finally about to wash up on our shores.  That’s why stocks in the United States and around the world have taken such a brutal beating recently. Officially the story is about the renewed worries over Europe’s debt crisis and U.S. data that suggests we’re once again sliding into a recession.  But what’s really happening is that global traders are moving quickly to liquidate holdings and raise cash while they can. That’s why so-called risk assets like stocks, corporate bonds, industrial metals, oil and higher-yielding junk instruments are tanking, as gold, the dollar and the yen are bucking up. The U.S. Federal Reserve already is engaging in damage control. President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York William Dudley has said the risks of a double-dip recession are “quite low,” despite anemic growth. And it’s been rumored that U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will telegraph new monetary stimulus measures Friday during his speech in Jackson Hole, WY. But really, who are they kidding? This crisis has nothing to do with liquidity (which is how the central bankers are trying to fight it) and everything to do with solvency (which is how they should be fighting it). Not only are the risks of a global recession mounting by the minute, but I believe the concentration of risks is approaching critical mass.

A Return to 2008.  First take a look at the Euribor-OIS swap (the spread between the Euro Interbank Offered Rate and the Overnight Indexed Swap). This swap, widely regarded as a gauge of fear in the European banking system, is at levels we haven’t seen since April 2009, and is climbing rapidly towards levels we experienced during 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.
These rates, along with the 
London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), represent a sort of feedback mechanism similar to the body’s circulatory system. If the system goes into “shock” there will be a negative, self-sustaining reaction.
At the same time, shorter-term euro basis swaps have fallen to the lowest levels we’ve seen since Lehman Bros. blew up.
The premium that European banks are paying to borrow in dollars through the swaps market is at its most extreme level since the credit crisis of 2008. The cost of converting euro-based payments into dollars as measured by the three-month cross-currency basis swap fell as much as 93 basis points below the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor), indicating a higher premium to buy dollars.
Historically, anything in the neighborhood of -150 basis points suggests imminent bank failure.  Meanwhile, funds parked in the ECB’s “deposit facility” are rising, which means they aren’t being lent to other banks. Funds at the ECB deposit facility hit their highest level – $209.3 billion (145.2 billion euros) – earlier this month. And ECB data shows commercial banks parked $154.4 billion (107.2 billion euros) in the central bank’s deposit facility last Friday, up from $130.5 billion (90.5 billion euros) on Thursday.
This suggests banks are more concerned with having liquidity available to them via “official” sources rather than the open markets.

There are two reasons they would feel that way:

Because they can’t get it from other sources.

And because they don’t trust the other banks who would otherwise serve as their counter party.

Remember, banks only make 0.75% on their deposits at the ECB, which is a smaller return than what they’d receive by lending to other banks. This suggests banks value the return of their money more than the return on their money. This happened before, most recently in Japan in the 1990s. I remember living in Japan at that time, and things got so bad that the spreads on overnight deposits actually went negative for short periods. That is, Japanese banks actually paid the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to hold their money because they were scared to hold it themselves. Finally, non-U.S. bank reserves on deposit at the Federal Reserve declined from $900 billion on July 13 to $758 billion as of Aug. 3. I’ve done some calling around and heard from two confidential sources that the level may have fallen as low as $500 billion this week, which would be a near-50% drop in only weeks. According to the Fed, foreign banking institutions hold approximately 25% of all commercial banking assets in the United States. That makes me think EU banks are calling money home not because they want to but because they need to.

Shah Gilani, Capital Waves Strategist, Money Morning

Fears of a banking crisis and rolling contagion are making global stock and bond markets extraordinarily volatile – and with good reason.
Another financial meltdown, on par with what we saw in 2008, is looming large on the horizon.
One of two potential triggers could ignite a new banking crisis, a rapid contagion, and a second financial meltdown:

One or more of the troubled European countries could default outright.

Or a major money center bank could be turned away from the interbank borrowing market by its peers.

The panic resulting from either catalyst could start at any time. And it would spread like wildfire. (August 26, 2011).

(Porter Stansberry. August 19, 2011) When credit  is expanded far enough in excess of savings, you get a collapse. It happens every time. It shouldn’t surprise anyone. Sooner or later, creditors look around and begin to ask themselves a critical question: Can these debts really be financed? Will I ever get my savings back? If credit has been expanded radically beyond savings (as it has in the U.S.), the answer is invariably no. That’s what S&P was warning about two weeks ago. And that means credit will be harder and harder to get in the U.S.

Currently, the total-debt-to-GDP ratio in the U.S. is almost 400%. (Total debt is the combined federal, state, municipal, corporate, and individual debt in the U.S.) Crushing debt loads have already destroyed the real estate market and led to an economic decline. For now, the government has stepped up to replace the private borrowing and spending. As a result, we’re now spending close to half our GDP merely on interest and government taxes. This simple fact should give everyone a reason to worry about the future of our country.Spending half your production each year on the government and interest payments doesn’t leave much to live on or invest for the future.

In Europe, the problem is a bit different… and slightly more technical. Most of the debt in Europe is held by the big banks, not the sovereigns. Look at just two French banks, for example. Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas have combined deposits of a little more than 1 trillion euro. But they hold assets of 2.5 trillion euro. Those assets equal France’s entire GDP. And those are only two of France’s banks. Right now, the tangible capital ratios of these banks have fallen to levels that suggest they are probably bankrupt – like UniCredit in Italy and Deutsche Bank in Germany. BNP’s tangible equity ratio is 2.85%. Credit Agricole’s tangible equity ratio is 1.41%. (UniCredit’s is 4.42%, and Deutchse Bank’s is 1.92%). These banks have long been instruments of state policy in Europe. They’ve funded all kinds of government projects and favored industries. Making loans is far more popular with politicians than demanding repayment for loans. As a result, these banks are left with nothing in the kitty to repay their depositors. If there’s a run on these banks (and there will be), how will they come up with money that’s owed? No one’s saying. (But I’ll tell you in a moment…)

The numbers are similar across most of Europe’s biggest banks. And the money that’s owed is staggering. The reason the market fears these debts so much is that there’s no clear mechanism to increasing the money supply enough to paper them over, as there is in the U.S. As strange as it may seem, investors prefer the U.S. Treasury market precisely because they know there’s nothing to stop the Fed from buying as many Treasury bonds as the market wants to sell. On the other hand, in Europe, there’s no guarantee whatsoever that the ECB will continue to buy the sovereign bonds – and there are even rules that explicitly forbid the ECB from financing bank bailouts.

What’s the end game? How will this huge mess be sorted out? The essential problem is there’s too much credit and too little money. So a lot more money is going to be created. Two great depositories of the world’s bad debt are Europe’s banks and the U.S. Treasury. Europe’s banks will need trillions of euro (yes, trillions) to regain safe capital ratios. And the U.S. Treasury will need trillions of dollars to refinance its upcoming repayment schedule. Both will be accomplished by the actions of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Step one will be the extension of swap lines to the European Central Bank (ECB) by the Federal Reserve, which will allow the Fed to buy between $2.5 trillion-$5 trillion worth of “riskless” ECB notes. These notes will allow the ECB to bail out Europe’s banks, which will in turn begin to buy U.S. Treasuries to repair their capital ratios.

The big unknown in this scenario is whether or not the Germans will approve this massive inflation. I can’t know whether they will go along or not. But several of their biggest banks need a bailout, which leads me to believe they will eventually get on board. Whatever the final details, the goal is clear – a massive increase in the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and a correspondingly huge increase in the world’s money supply. And that’s what you’re seeing when you look at the prices of gold and silver.  How will we get from here to there exactly? I can’t know. It may be done piecemeal, one quantitative-easing program and bank bailout at a time. Or it might happen with some kind of grand new compromise – a kind of Bretton Woods II solution. But just remember where we must end up… Europe’s banks have to be recapitalized. And the U.S. Treasury has to be refinanced. The only way to accomplish this that has any chance of being approved by the democracies in question is via the printing press. That’s why I continue to warn about inflation. That’s why I continue to advocate buying gold and silver. That’s why I’m bearish on stocks (especially bank stocks). And that’s why I think it’s prudent for you to take steps to safeguard your property and your family – especially if you live in a big city. The population won’t be ignorant of what’s happening. The message will be clear: Governments and bankers have the right to steal from the whole world via inflation. That will probably inspire the crowds to do the same.

Martin Hutchinson, Global Investing Strategist, Money Morning :  By now, you’ve probably taken note of the growing bubble in Treasury bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell below 2% for the first time in 50 years in the wake of the U.S. credit rating downgrade. That’s irrational, and more importantly, dangerous. A Treasury bond bubble is a unique creature. In fact, it’s never been seen before, so determining its fate requires some careful thought. But what’s absolutely certain is that U.S. Treasuries are not  a safe haven investment – far from it. Treasury bonds carry five very dangerous risks – including negative yields, higher inflation, panic selling, an outright collapse, and default.  So let’s take a closer look at those risks before determining the best way to profit. First, real yields on Treasuries, after accounting for inflation, are now negative. Not only are nominal Treasury yields below the current inflation rate, but 10-year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) have traded on a yield of less than zero. That is very unusual and economically distorting. Long-term bond yields in the zero-inflation 19th century never fell below 2.2%, which is to be expected. The guy who provides the money should get paid for doing so. However, any reversion to historical patterns would cause a major bond bear market. Ten-year Treasury yields would rise to the 5% to 6% range – even if inflation gets no faster – giving investors a 27% mark-to-market loss. Of course, inflation will accelerate. The consumer price index (CPI) inflation is up 3.6% from last year. And it’s likely to rise much further as a result of the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policies. If inflation were to rise to 10%, which is perfectly plausible, bond yields would have to rise to 12% to 13%, giving investors a 59% mark-to-market loss as well as eroding the value of their principal. Yet there’s an even greater threat than inflation, and that’s the U.S. budget deficit. The United States is currently running an annual $600 billion balance of payments deficit. That deficit is being financed through the sale of Treasuries to foreign buyers. Should foreign buyers cease buying, the dollar would have to fall to equalize the payments balance, perhaps by 20%. As a dollar investor, you might not mind this (though it would increase inflation). But foreign investors will hate it. The likely result would be the panicked selling of Treasuries, which would cause yields to rise sharply and prices to fall. Finally, there’s the risk of an outright default. Short-term, that’s an infinitesimal risk – but a risk nonetheless .After all, Treasuries used to be thought of as “risk free.” Now, following the S&P downgrade, they are considered “low risk.”  If the public repeatedly elects politicians who can’t or won’t take effective action to cut spending, particularly in the entitlements area, then debt eventually will spiral out of control and become impossible to repay. You’re probably free from this risk in five-year Treasuries, but not in 30-year Treasuries. Theoretically, governments can’t go bust in their own currency, since they can always print money. But that’s nonsense. There comes a point at which you have to wheel the stuff around in barrows to buy groceries – as was the case in Germany in 1923. At that point, governments have to default – there’s no alternative. With such a broad collection of risks, Treasuries should be avoided like the plague. One or more of these five wealth-destroying events will almost certainly come to pass.  (August 29, 2011)

Welcome to the fine-tuned machine that is Deception, INC.
Hello. My name is Robert Williams.  ( 1 877.242.1730.  1 410.223.2650. +1 410.230.1266.; +1 410.223.2650. 
WallStreetDaily.com –  CustomerService@WallStreetDailyInfo.com. I’m the Publisher of a progressive Investment Research Group whose mandate it is to gather intelligence and conduct thorough and unbiased investigations.) With that in mind, I’d like to show you how the G-20 Pittsburgh Summit just pushed an extraordinary event into motion.

Although the event will prove highly lucrative for some investors, before I go any further, I must warn you…This particular event exposes the truth behind a 7,500-person, ultra-discreet enterprise that I call Deception, INC. and how it controls the affairs of virtually the entire human race. It exposes how world governments and banks are now intimate business  partners .It reveals how trillions of dollars of our money – as well as the money of future generations – is being funneled into the accounts of global banking titans .And, may I dare say, Deception, INC.’s actions even reveal a crack in our proudest institution of all – capitalism. When you hear what’s happening, you’re likely to feel as outraged as me. (Losers of a rigged game often become very angry.)Worse yet, it’s all happening at a time when trillions in debt threatens the health of the world economy and our personal wellbeing. In a moment, I’m going tell you about the chokepoint in this incredible story – the $615 trillion spinning around Deception, INC.’s new private wealth exchange. And how the recent G-20 Pittsburgh resolution……and Congress’ subsequent legislation – Public Law 111-203 – gives us an irresistible opportunity to ‘skim’ that market for potentially life-changing gains .In its very first week of trading, $12.8 billion in transactions passed through Deception, INC.’s private exchange. Over the next few minutes, I’ll show you how to profitably position yourself alongside this historic event .I’ll even show you how to protect yourself from the six ingenious ways Deception, INC. cons us out of trillions of dollars. But first, here’s an unprecedented look behind Deception, INC.’s shadowy curtain…

Deception, INC. – Founded in C. 1979
As Americans, we have a pretty tough mindset. As long as we feel like policymakers have our best interests in mind, we’ll accept a finicky economy with high unemployment and low wages. We’ll even accept losses to our standard of living for long stretches of time.  Such has been the case for years.  And, to date, there hasn’t been any significant social upheaval.  Heck, we can even accept that income inequality exists, as long as we feel like we’re still getting a fair share of the pie.  BUT… When you add a perception that the economic game is rigged… That those with great wealth and power will always block our way, no matter how hard we try to get ahead…  THEN we get angry. Very angry. Today, one in every eight Americans is enrolled in the food stamps program.  Yet, a year after the financial crisis, one subsidiary of Deception, INC. paid its employees an average of nearly $600,000 per person, capping off its best year ever.  Starting salaries for Deception, INC.’s big-time congressional or White House contacts has ballooned to about $500,000.  In 2006, Deception, INC.’s top 25 trading managers earned nearly $600 million, on average, with the richest raking in $1.7 billion.  Since Deception, INC.’s founding, of all the new financial wealth created by the American economy in the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s…

42% of it has gone to the top 1% of the population…

94% has gone to the top 20%…

And the bottom 80% has to split the rest – a measly 6% of our nation’s income.

Now, to be fair, I don’t begrudge anyone from earning a good living.  Well-founded ambition is what helped build this country.  But after you see the facts, I think you’ll agree with me that Deception, INC.’s influence on the system has totally rigged it in favor of a precious few…  And that those few enjoy too much power and influence over the size of our wallets. In the weeks ahead, I plan to leverage my position as a Publisher to get word to policymakers that we’re fed up. But for now, this grassroots effort begins here, with you.  As I mentioned earlier, there are a few profitable countermeasures that every American should be taking, which I’ll cover in detail. Of those countermeasures, one is the extraordinary result of the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit… …where world leaders paved the way for Deception, INC. to launch a massive $615 trillion wealth exchange. The formal legislation took effect in July 2011. Understand, though, our extraordinary opportunity here wouldn’t be possible without the cozy relationship that banks and government are currently enjoying.  Indeed, banks and government are dancing a very close waltz. Sure, if you look at economic history, governments and banks have alwayshad to co-exist.  Their actions have always directly influenced the financial wellbeing of the people. And the power between the two hasalways teetered back and forth, with each enjoying the upper hand for periods of time. However, today these kindred souls – banks and government – seem more unified than ever.  The tug-and-pull relationship of years past seems replaced by an outright moneymaking enterprise – one that’s wreaking havoc with our nation’s precious wealth ladder. Now, many people – even the ones closest to me – think I ought to keep my mouth shut on this. They’re advising me to bury this research and get on with the business of publishing innovative investment ideas.  I’ll concede that Deception, INC. is powerful. But, with all due respect to my inner circle, I’m staying the course and taking this information public. Knowing what I now know……I can’t sit idly by and watch the biggest con game in human history……one that’s taking money from my pocket… my family’s pocket… my friends’ pockets… and my friend’s friends’ pockets……and funneling it into Deception, INC.’s cash-filled coffers. Besides, an incredible investment opportunity is parked before us right now, directly as a result of the situation, which means my research firm is satisfying its mission. Sure, it may mean giving up a bit of my privacy.  But Deception, INC.’s actions over the last 30 years – especially the last 10 – have sent income inequality spinning out of control in the United States… It’s presently at an all-time high… It’s getting worse at an alarmingly hurried pace… And quietly becoming an embarrassing national plague. The top 0.01% – that’s one-hundredth of 1% – now earn 6% of all U.S. wages. These folks are Deception, INC.’s biggest ‘Benefactors.’ And this is increasingly their world.
Your Money Gets its ‘Last Rites’
So what exactly is Deception? 
And who are these Benefactors I just alluded to? According to Thomas Dye’s, Who’s Running America?, in the United States… …less than 7,500 individuals control “almost three-quarters of the nation’s industrial assets, almost two-thirds of all banking assets and more than three-quarters of all insurance assets.”  Working together under one banner, these 7,500 individuals – the Benefactors – along with the publicly elected (or appointed) lawmakers who enable their actions, form what I call ‘Deception, INC.’ The end product is the most dominant ‘for profit’ enterprise the world has ever known. By virtue of owning a monopoly on money, which I’ll detail in a moment, Deception, INC. has silently turned us into pigeons.  Its invisible hand influences everything… …the stock market…  …bond market…  …real estate market…  …commodities market…  …emerging markets…  …venture capital money…  …IPOs…  …politics… …lending practices… I assure you, it’s endless. While the rest of us battle being marginalized – competing against cheaper labor in other parts of the world… …Deception, INC.’s Benefactors live in 40,000 square-foot mansions, throw million-dollar birthday parties and enjoy every conceivable sociological advantage……like having access to the very best moneymaking information. According toForbes magazine, in the days following Wall Street’s cataclysmic meltdown……Deception, INC.’s 400 richest Benefactors still enjoyed a cumulative wealth of $1.27 trillion – more than the estimated cost of achieving universal healthcare for the entire country for the next decade. By contrast, middle-class America is greatly suffering. You see, for most of us, our homes represent our ONE truly major investment. So while Deception, INC.’s top brass build opulent mansions and fly private jets, the most recent data on home prices (June 2011) was a nightmare for the rest of us.  The data showed yet another big month-over-month decline in the value of homes across the United States. Home prices have lost about a third of their value since the 2006 peak, with Las Vegas being the hardest hit.  Prices there are down 57% from the peak. Worse yet, with three years of inventory still sitting on the market, there’s no relief in sight.

As I write this, about five million borrowers are at least two months behind on their mortgages.  And more will miss payments as Americans struggle with job losses and loans worth more than their home’s value. Many Americans don’t know this, but… After Wall Street politely accepted the taxpayers’ gift of life – the $700 billion bailout… …Deception, INC. lobbied against a proposal to allow those very same taxpayers the option of declaring bankruptcy rather than losing their homes to foreclosure. To date, Congress has NOT extended a rope for American homeowners to hang onto. Worse still, Wall Street took the 0% emergency loan – extended to it by the Federal Reserve and reinvested it in Treasury bills and other government securities to earn another quick fortune. So, in effect, Wall Street borrowed from the government, lent those funds back to the government, and earned the spread. Deception, INC. gets a healthy cut of the proceeds, of course. In an interview with “60 Minutes,” famed author, Michael Lewis, called this practice – one still happening today – an “elegant form of theft.”  He’s right.  But the mutual cooperation – dare I say complicity – between government and banking is what’s intriguing here. As I’ll show you, I’m only scratching the surface of a system rigged to favor the superrich. The hyper concentration of wealth at the top has been 30 years in the making. But since the year 2000, cash is flying out of our pockets even faster.  If you go back through our nation’s history, the current situation has no precedent prior to the late 1970s – when Deception, INC. began growing its roots. And that’s why I’m rushing you this message. How, in a representative democracy, can public officials favor such a small slice of Americans for so long?  And how can we get in on their gravy train? The truth, when you hear it, may shock you.

Robin Hood in Reverse? For the record, the financial crisis is only the latest example of a system rigged to favor the superrich.  The Katrina hurricane disaster, and the subsequent travesties regarding government aid and insurance payouts, predates the financial crisis by a full three years. What’s particularly noteworthy, however, is that the middle class – even the upper middle class and ‘well off’ – are feeling the pinch these days, just as much as the poor. Regrettably, it’s like Robin Hood in reverse…  he U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting that enrollment in the food stamp program will exceed 43 million Americans in 2011 – smashing the all-time record. Over one recent three-day period, approximately 10,000 people showed up to apply for just 90 jobs making washing machines in Kentucky for $27,000 a year. In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30-to-1.Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300- to 500-to-1. Once great blue-collar manufacturing cities, like Detroit, have turned into rusted-out poverty zones.  Meanwhile, Deception, INC. Benefactors earn millions off of the cheap labor in third-world nations. As I already said, the rate at which income is leaving our pockets and speeding into the pockets of the Benefactors is greatly intensifying. This past decade was absolutely unique because it represented the very first time in history that the economy expanded for six consecutive years (2001-2007), YET…  During that very same period, household incomes declined and poverty levels rose!  Such behavior in wages is completely unnatural.  However, when you tighten the lens, things make a lot more sense… …between 2002 and 2007, the top 1% of American earners – Deception, INC.’s top brass – saw their incomes RISE by 10%.  Yet policymakers are doing nothing to stem the tide.  In fact, if anything, they’re the enablers of this dark enterprise.  In the days ahead, my research firm will do its part to raise public awareness regarding this massive redistribution of wealth, including broadcasting an open letter to Congress.  I’ll show you how you could take your own action, as well – should you choose to – in a moment. But, for now, you simply need to ask yourself the following question… “How much more am I willing to take?”  Because knowing where Deception, INC.’s dollars are flowing means having opportunities.  And my team’s research just yielded your first one. I’ll explain exactly what this investment is so you can decide if it’s suitable for you.  I’ll even show you how you could begin taking advantage of it, starting immediately…
For the record, Deception, INC. has already virtually rigged it for massive profits… so this is something you’ll likely want to learn more about right now.

How to Spot a Benefactor in
Less Than 60 Seconds  
The top 0.01% of Americans, who I bluntly call the Benefactors, now individually earns more than $35 million a year.  They earn $1 out of every $17 – the group’s highest amount since data collection began in 1913.  They’re NOT celebrities, athletes, entertainers, or artists.  Rather, the vast majority are CEOs or other high-level executives, with a growing number of them coming from finance and banking.  (Surprised?) They’re getting fabulously richer while the rest of us hold steady or get worse. They increase their wealth in good times and in bad times.  When the market tanked two years ago, Wal-Mart workers lost about 18% of their 401(k)s’ value.  Yet Wal-Mart’s CEO saw gains of $2.3 million in his $47 million retirement plan.  Such compensation inequality is the ‘new normal.’ In the last 30 years – during an era of unprecedented economic expansion – the Benefactors reaped massive gains.  Yet the economy virtually stopped working for middle- and working-class Americans, as their wealth compounded at a rate of only 1.5%, annually.  Get this… From 1979 to 2006, the average American household income increased from $47,900 to $71,900 – a modest 50% increase in 30 years. Over the same period, the Benefactor’s income increased from just over $4 million per year to nearly $24.3 million – a 507% increase!  As one former Benefactor said in his book, The Other Side of Wall Street… “It was as if a magical money tree blossomed overhead and all I had to do was reach higher if I wanted – or needed – more.” Before I get to the solutions, including how to start reaping the fruits of THEIR proverbial money tree, let me back up a bit… …and show you in the simplest terms possible what’s going on, why I’m so concerned and what I believe will happen in the next six months…
Battling the Ever Present ‘Money Monopoly’

The income gap between the Benefactors and the rest of country hasn’t been this big since the 1920s. Their power resides in the ability to control money. Besides controlling the actual creation of money, policymakers along with the Benefactors – Deception, INC. – have firm control over where the money flows, as well. It’s a virtual ‘money monopoly,’ as nearly every conceivable financial channel is under Deception, INC.’s influence.  And we’re all paying the price. The Benefactors’ actions sparked the collapse of the housing market, which caused the recession.  And now 14.1 million Americans are out of work.  Then, by influencing policy, the Benefactors persuaded the Federal Reserve to crank up the printing presses to pay for the bailout, which led to food-price inflation.  And now nearly 44 million Americans – a record – rely on food stamps.  In the name of ‘The War on Terror,’ ‘The War on Drugs,’ ‘Homeland Security’… or whatever else…  …the government has appropriated itself virtually unlimited spending power, which allows it to funnel wealth wherever it sees fit. All the while, the banking establishment has commandeered everyone’s credit. With YOUR finances under their control, the banks can earn tons of new money by simply allocating more credit… charging higher fees…  …even rewarding former politicians for their service in promoting the banks’ interests (more on that in a moment). If economic history has taught us anything, going all the way back to the first banknote issued in Europe in 1661, it’s this… When the easy money of a deep-pocketed government comes into contact with the moneymaking ambitions of a cash-thirsty banking sector, a deep fault line develops. In our present case, the fault line formed as an unintended, dark enterprise that I call Deception, INC. It’s One Colossal Ponzi Scheme. The hidden  cost  to you and me is that the Benefactors don’t spend their money at a rate fast enough to keep the economy humming along.  For example, in 2007, Kenneth Lewis earned around $100 million as the CEO of Bank of America.  To spend it all, he’d have to buy $273,972.60 worth of goods and services every day, including weekends.  If you dedicated 12 hours of every day to spending money, you’d still have to spend $22,831 every hour… or $380.52 every minute.  Don’t expect it to ever happen.  Consequently, every penny the Benefactors don’t spend simply turns into greater wealth for them.  And we’re boxed out. According to Forbes, the wealthiest 400 Americans’ average net worth was $3.9 billion in 2008 – more than six times larger than it was in 1985.  The bottom 80% of American earners have a net worth of around only $82,000, with many folks stuck with a negative net worth.  As you may have figured out by now, CREDIT is the central tool of Deception, INC Cynical as it may seem, Deception, INC.’s response to rising income inequality – whether carefully planned or not – is to loan you tons of money. So while the Benefactors increase their net worth in real dollars terms – day in and day out… The rest of us enjoy only the mirage of having more. Interest rates are held artificially low so the banks can extend us easy credit.  Then, on the banks’ dime, we buy homes, cars, boats, swimming pools – anything we want.  And we feel content, like we’re genuinely sharing in this country’s wealth pie.  Only we’re not. Deception, INC. didn’t invent this ploy… Extending easy credit has been used throughout history to address the deeper anxieties of the middle class. With that in mind, the current chapter on aggressive lending began writing itself in 1980 – around the very same time that the Benefactors net worth started ballooning.  By 2001, Americans owed as much as their entire after-tax income.  But the situation was getting far worse, far quicker… Over the next six years, by 2007, the typical American household owed 138% of its after-tax income.  In other words, we were collectively underwater as a nation.  The debt came racing in from everywhere – credit cards, auto loans, student loans… most of us used our homes as virtual ATM machines. Between 2002 and 2007, American households extracted $2.3 trillion from their homes – just as the Benefactors hoped we would.  Our personal debts – roughly $16 trillion – now account for 29% of total U.S. debt, which is around $55 trillion… and counting.  You can see how effective this debt strategy is.  And the Benefactors don’t just use it on individuals… not a chance! The power of debt is intoxicating enough to use at the country level, too.  I’m sure you think that sounds crazy, but as I’ll show you, it’s already happening.  You’re Not Supposed to Know This, BUT…  Here’s a dirty little secret – one which public policy is now tailored around.  Capitalism is not self-sufficient. To sustain itself, capitalism requires constant expansion and exploitation of new markets. Yet, at the same time, there are hard limits on regional (even planetary) resources. Knowing this, it’s easy to appreciate why the Benefactors created ‘emerging markets.’ Emerging markets have become one of the most coveted strategies the Benefactors use to expand their ever-increasing net worth.  Such virgin resource-rich markets, like say, Malaysia, represent perfect venues for spawning more wealth. The Benefactors employ the very same debt strategy to emerging nations as they do with consumers.  That means encumbering them with debt in return for funding development projects. When these emerging nations are unable to repay, a Deception, INC.-friendly agency – like the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank – imposes ‘structural readjustment’ programs. As any economist can tell you, these programs typically favor western banks… take away control of natural resources… and depress incomes of the local population…In some emerging economies, the progress made in health and education over the past 50 years is actually being reversed in order to pay back debts. Inside the World’s Greatest Con Game The most pressing concern for us is knowing where Deception, INC.’s money is heading next, so we can align ourselves alongside the historic launch of their wealth exchange. But I also promised to get you up to speed on the six ingenious tactics Deception, INC. uses to fleece America. As I’ve already said, the speed at which our money is being redistributed to the Benefactors – especially since the year 2000 – has never been witnessed before. In fact, between 2001 and 2006, over 53% of national income was going to the top 1%, meaning more than 50 cents of every dollar pocketed by Americans during that timeframe accrued to the richest 1 in 100 households.  Even their neighborhoods are more resilient.  U.S. home prices have fallen 33% since the housing bubble burst in 2006 – more than they did during the Great Depression.  Yet prices in Washington, D.C. – Deception, INC.’s headquarters, of course – are up 4% over the last year, representing the only major metropolitan area to enjoy an uptick in prices.  For the record, according to data from the Census Bureau, suburban Washington touts seven of the top 20 highest-earning counties in the country.  New York and New Jersey – the Benefactors’ headquarters – have five counties in the top 20.  Prior to 2008, most of us had faith in the system – a system “too big to fail.”  However, as the illusion of financial stability started to fade – so, too, did our confidence. How could we have been so blind?  Well, without further ado, here are the six ways the most powerful moneymaking enterprise on Earth is able to LEGALLY con us out of our money. Con Game #1: Easy Credit Piling you up with debt is unequivocally the sun in which the Benefactors’ world rotates around. I’ve already given you all the facts. But here’s a tip for lawmakers… Until the middle class is expanding its wealth, too – in real dollars – the economy has absolutely no chance of ever regaining its past glory.  Enough said. Con Game #2: Pro Big-Bank Legislation  The subject matter here could fill an entire book.  But 1999’s repeal of the Glass Steagall Act, which was passed in 1933 to control a banks’ ability to speculate, looms incredibly large.  Likewise, policymakers’ 2004 decision to relax the 1975 Net Capital Rule was also instrumental in amassing great wealth at the top.  The rule acted as a wonderful safeguard for all of us by limiting the amount of debt Wall Street firms were allowed to carry – with the upper limit being about 12 times their total assets. However, when Capitol Hill gave the ‘okay’ to relax the rule, the Benefactors embarked on an unprecedented period of profiteering.  When Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns collapsed, they were leveraged by over 30-to-1!  The biggest beneficiary of the watered-down standards was Goldman Sachs.  In 2006, its profits jumped by 70% over the prior year, to $9.5 billion – the biggest ever for a Wall Street firm.  It doled out an extraordinary $16.5 billion in compensation that year, which works out to an average of nearly $622,000 for each employee. Con Game #3: Favorable Tax Treatment  President George W. Bush rigged the estate tax by substantially increasing the amount of tax-free money someone can pass on to his heirs – from $1 million in 2001 to $3.5 million in 2009. The Obama administration has not restored the exemption, choosing instead to keep it at $3.5 million. Such policy only benefits the richest 2% of Americans. Even more suspicious, some of the country’s wealthiest hedge fund managers and private-equity fund managers are taxed at a rate of only 15% – LESS than what most of the middle class pays. They’re able to do it by exploiting a little-known tax loophole. After repeated attempts by Congress to close the loophole, both Democrats and Republicans have always chosen to preserve it. I believe the loophole has been preserved to ensure that the Benefactors’ generous campaign donations keep pouring in. My point here is that the Benefactors aren’t richer ONLY because their paychecks are growing…  They’re also richer because the government taxes them much less heavily than it once did. Con Game #4: The Stock Market Most of the assets held by the Benefactors are in stocks, bonds and other financial instruments.  As such, in 2009, when the market bounced back after the Great Recession, these ‘elite’ enjoyed staggering increases to their net worth.  By contrast, the cornerstone asset of middle-class America is its homes, the value of which is still plummeting four years after the economy’s peak. In 2007, the average CEO of the 350 largest publicly traded companies earned more than $12 million a year. A sizeable chunk of that income came via stock options, whose details are usually kept hidden from shareholders. Sometimes a CEO can create MASSIVE stock market gains simply by cutting jobs or announcing plans to slash wages. They even ‘backdate’ their stock options, which means getting compensated retroactively – when the options were worth the most. In the early 1990s, when the Financial Standards Accounting Board, which oversees accounting practices, tried to rein in ‘backdating,’ it was thwarted by a bipartisan coalition in the Senate. Con Game #5: Buying Political Influence  Why didn’t politicians do more in the face of the financial crisis, hiding behind rhetoric like, “Too big to fail?” It may have to do with Deception, INC.’s ability to buy political influence.  In 2009, the financial industry spent more than $300 million in its efforts to lobby Congress. Lobbying may be the ultimate proof of a rigged game because it’s here where we’re able to trace a direct connection between the Benefactors and lawmakers. Lobbyists are paid to persuade legislators to vote for legislation in favor of big corporations and banks. In the 1970s, only a small percentage – about 3% – of retiring members of Congress went on to become lobbyists. But by 2009, more than 30% did, as the profession grew incredibly lucrative. The Benefactors are very generous when it comes to buying influence – former chairs of congressional committees and subcommittees are paid upwards of $2 million a year to influence legislation in their former committees. Between 1998 and 2004 – when the Benefactors’ power was greatly intensifying – more than 2,200 former federal officials registered as lobbyists, according to the Center for Public Integrity. And according to the Center for Responsive Politics, spending on lobbyists escalated from $1.44 billion in 1998 to $3.47 billion in 2009. Still don’t believe Deception, INC. exists yet? Then try and explain why banks, realtors and insurers have 940 former federal employees – 70 of which are former members of Congress – on their payrolls as lobbyists.  Now can you appreciate just how much the deck is stacked against you? Con Game #6: Proprietary Technology Without question, technological shifts have played a MAJOR role in this relentless redistribution of wealth. For starters, the internet serves as the perfect venue for Deception, INC.-sponsored firms to reach greater audiences, and, in turn, earn a larger economic return. But for actual proof of a rigged game, look no further than the arrival of supercomputers, which have shockingly increased capital flows on Wall Street. And rewritten the rules of trading in the process.  Prior to 1998, million-share trading days were the norm on Wall Street.  But today, Wall Street trades a few BILLION shares every day – magnifying the possibilities for gains.  These supercomputers run fantastically sophisticated algorithms, too. And they work! For example, during the first quarter of 2010, four of the biggest banks in the United States – Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup – had a ‘perfect quarter,’ with zero days of trading losses.  Wouldn’t it be nice to share such an advantage? Now, here’s where we zero in on our opportunity… You see, technological advantages have also led to the development of innovative new financial products – ones that usually have no appeal to everyday investors, like us. But for Deception, INC., these exotic creations are godsends – capable of spawning mind-boggling profits. I’m talking about derivatives. For the next seven to 10 years, the derivatives market represents absolution for the Benefactors – a way to exponentially expand their profit base without ever manufacturing, drilling, refining, exporting, importing, developing, building, or engineering a thing.  And regulators have already paved the way for this to happen…  You see, in September 2009, the leaders of the world’s largest economies met in Pittsburgh in what turned out to be perhaps the most significant G-20 Summit in history. In response to the financial crisis, the new, larger group – which proclaimed itself the guardian of the world economy – resolved to… “Work together to ensure that our fiscal, monetary, trade and structural policies are collectively consistent with more sustainable and balanced trajectories of growth.”  One of the G-20’s highest priorities was to rein in the massive $615 trillion derivatives market. Prior to the financial crisis, the Big Banks traded derivatives between themselves, with absolutely no oversight. Regulators were virtually blind to the TRILLIONS upon TRILLIONS of dollars running through the financial system. Meanwhile, the Benefactors made a fortune in this cryptic market. Deception, INC.’s richest fiefdom, for sure – the size of the derivatives market is equivalent to 41 times the United States’ GDP.  Recall, mortgage-backed securities – a tiny sliver of the larger derivatives market – are what precipitated the financial crisis. And the public outcry against these newfangled securities has been intense. For a while there, it even looked like regulators might pull the plug on the derivatives market altogether.  But after some passionate lobbying, the Benefactors ultimately won out.  (Was there ever any doubt?) In Pittsburgh, G-20 leaders agreed that… All standardized derivatives contracts should be traded on exchanges or electronic trading platforms by the end of 2012, at the latest.”  And when the Dodd-Frank Act – Public Law 111-203 – was signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010, the financial system was, in effect, rigged for Deception, INC. to control another decade of profits. Nearly the exact same legislation was passed in Europe, as well. The gears toward achieving this mandate are already in motion, handing us a monumental opportunity. SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro recently said… “The derivatives marketplace has grown dramatically over the past three decades to become enormous and truly international. Since the early 1980s, when the first swap agreements were negotiated, the global notional value of this marketplace has grown to just over $600 trillion. However, [until now] derivatives were largely excluded from the financial regulatory framework by the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.”

Again, understanding that capitalism must constantly be fed new markets to devour… the G-20 resolution put yet another market on a silver platter for the Benefactors. This market all but guarantees Deception, INC. of its next decade of profits.  Although passed a year ago, The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act just took effect – in July 2011.  In layman’s terms, under the legislation, by 2012 derivatives contracts will be forced to pass through an official exchange.  In doing so, a third party – an official clearinghouse – will assume the risk should one party default. In other words, Dodd-Frank makes certain that the irresponsible actions of AIG, which ignited the financial crisis, can never happen again. Recall, AIG underwrote the trillions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities during the housing boom.  Yet when their value crashed, the venerable insurance giant was unable to pay up. Under Dodd Frank, such an outcome becomes virtually impossible. As you’d expect, the banking industry’s biggest names dominate derivatives activity.  JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs and HSBC Bank USA account for 96% of the total industry.  And they’re eyeing the derivatives market as a salvation of sorts in these lean times, as it generates some of the easiest profits in finance. For now, I’ve recommended that my readers face the sobering reality that policymakers, for whatever reason, took measures to preserve the Benefactors’ foremost cash cow. Until you do the same, your anger is likely to cloud the opportunity now sitting before you. Also, every solution I mention from this point forward is perfectly legal and safe to implement, too.
Course of Action #1:
Follow Deception, INC.’s Money
My analysts have identified an ingenious way to profit from Deception, INC.’s massive derivatives market without ever going within earshot of an actual derivative. So please take careful notice that within the past year, a milestone event occurred… A brand-new exchange was launched, exclusively trading the largest segment of the derivatives market. Only months old, early estimates put the potential value of the exchange in the neighborhood of $10 trillion. But why haven’t you heard about it? Why were there no cameras? No press? And no celebrities ringing the opening bell? Because the Benefactors don’t want you to know it exists. As I’ve been telling you, this market is the biggest moneymaking cog in Deception, INC.’s wheel.  It’s how the Benefactors plan to expand their profit base over the next seven years, at least. And the less you know about it, the less likely you are to influence public opinion against it. For now, forget about the fact that $12.8 billion in transactions passed through the exchange in its first week of trading and, instead, concentrate on the number ONE… As in, ONE tiny company runs the entire exchange, handling every single order over its brand-new electronic trading platform.  Forty-one banks are presently live on the platform, with heavyweights like Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan providing streaming prices.  The amount of capital firing across this cryptic market is staggering. And among the Goliaths there sits ONE small, virtually unheard of company facilitating Deception, INC.’s next decade of profits.  Imagine earning a cut on every trade. It’s hard to draw a historic comparison for such a unique event… But the Chicago Mercantile Exchange – facilitators of the largest futures and options exchange in the world – went public in 2002.  And the stock went from $39 to over $700.  Intercontinental Exchange – another proprietor of futures and over-the-counter exchanges – went public in late 2005 with a stock price of $26.  To date, it’s been as high as $185.  But making such comparisons to this hyper-unique opportunity isn’t really fair. You see… s a whole, the $615 trillion derivatives market dwarfs the futures, options and over-the-counter markets individually. he under-the-radar company executing the derivatives trades over its new electronic platform is tiny – only 1/30th the size of industry giants like Bank of America.  And… billions in unrealized trading revenue is still NOT priced into the stock. When combined, these three factors make for a potentially massive rise in the stock price. Realize that this didn’t happen overnight… The electronic platform was nine years in the making.  And this little company’s been an up-and-comer in international banking since the late 1990s.  I expect the coming months to mark a historic turning point for the company.  Shareholders could see their net worth explode. For investors with risk capital, this speculation has a real chance to make serious gains. You May Never See Anything Like it Again in Your Lifetime.  By now, I suspect you appreciate the rare nature of this occasion.  I can’t predict the future, but this may indeed be the only time it happens in our lifetime. That’s why I’d like to rush you an urgent report on this opportunity right away, called…How to Win a Rigged Game: Wall Street’s Underground Exchange Goes Live.  In the report, you’ll get all the details regarding how this innovative small-cap company flew under the radar on its way to dominating a brand new, multi-trillion-dollar electronic market. And how its shares could be set for one the biggest price moves of any stock – on any exchange – over the next seven to 10 months. The report also reveals why BlackRock – the newly crowned King of Wall Street – loaded its house account with 32 million shares of this company’s stock.  But perhaps most important… The report outlines how perfectly positioned the company is within the enormously lucrative derivatives market.  At the end of the day, how many chances do you truly get to make money at such an early stage of the game?  You know, when the profit potential is at its peak? I don’t want to tip my hand too much more, or I risk undermining the exhaustive research my team did to find this opportunity.  So please refer to the report…How to Win a Rigged Game:  Wall Street’s Underground Exchange Goes Live. I assure you that it includes all the critical information you need to take advantage of this milestone event, including the company’s ticker symbol. Give the research some consideration… I believe it holds every detail required to benefit from the unfolding events.  The best part is, you can review this research today by simply taking a risk-free trial subscription to my flagship monthly newsletter, The White Cap Report. When you accept this invitation, I’ll immediately give you access to the report. It took nearly a year to compile this research on Deception, INC. Specifically, finding out who the Benefactors are… what impact they’re having on our wealth… and what they’re planning to do next. Now that we’ve identified the Benefactors, we’re tracking their money flows.  With a virtual GPS on their cash, we’ll report where it’s heading every single month in The White Cap Report. The truth is, we’re already zeroing in on another opportunity with the potential to be even bigger than what’s happening with the Dodd-Frank legislation.

Course of Action #2:
Trade Like a Benefactor 

As much as my group is known for its progressive research, it’s also an advocate of innovative trading strategies – ones capable of generating entirely new streams of personal income. You see, my staff includes best-selling author and former New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) market maker, Lee Lowell, who serves as the group’s Income Expert. I recently conducted an annual review of Lee’s track record and its results were extraordinary – a documented 96% win rate!  Last year, Lee recommended 27 trades, and 26 of them generated an average cash payment of roughly $500. Over a year’s time, Lee’s picks led to cash payouts of:

$450 from Verizon

$362 from Sunoco

$300 from DuPont

$500 from Electronic Arts

$300 from Home Depot

$300 from Dow Chemical

$400 from General Electric

$300 from JC Penney

$395 from International Paper

$350 from Best Buy

And that’s just a few of the big name, high-probability trades Lee has shown readers how to collect cash from.  For clarity’s sake, like the Benefactors, Lee only recommends using a strategy that can be ‘rigged’ in your favor…  With that in mind, you can imagine why I look forward to his internal performance audit every year – the results are all the proof Lee needs that his innovative strategies work.  In fact, I was astonished to see that in 2009 and 2010, Lee’s readers had the opportunity to collect anywhere between $11,806 and $47,225 depending on how much they chose to invest.  How could anyone turn down a cash infusion like that? When I talk about things like this, I’m always reminded of an email I received from one of Lee’s loyal readers named Barry Morris.  Barry said that he and his son, just average folks from South Carolina… not professional traders or Benefactors… collected an astounding $145,000 in 2009 using Lee’s strategies. That’s $12,083 a month!  I know a ton of recent college graduates who’d be overjoyed to earn that much in a year. You can find Lee Lowell’s columns in The White Cap Report by accepting my risk-free trial offer to the newsletter. If you choose to sign up, I’ll also give you immediate access to Lee’s two brand-new strategy reports… You’ve probably heard of my group’s Chief Investment Strategist, Louis Basenese.  He’s the market’s foremost innovation and technology expert.  And sleuthing-out innovation has been his life’s pursuit since helping handle over $1 billion in assets while on Wall Street.  Louis’ readers have recently had the opportunity to close out gains on up-and-coming innovators, like…

162% on APKT – a facilitator of lightning-fast internet solutions.

100% on ASYS – a manufacturer of wafers used in the solar industry.

107% on IDCC – a wireless technology firm with over 8,000 patents.

139% on TDSC – an ingenious 3-D printing company.

152% on IO – a seismic imaging company in the oil and gas industry.

Right now, Louis is urging readers to prepare, as the next wave of innovative technology swarms the market in the coming weeks. Wednesday, August 31, 2011 In Today’s Issue: Stock Market: The Case for Higher Prices… Good  News: The Commodity Price Cycle and S&P 500 Both on Track…  European  Recession: Will There Be One?  European Recession: Will There Be One?  The Leong Side of the Market, by George Leong, B. Comm. If you think we have it bad here, just take a glance at Europe, where investing in stocks has become a chore full  of patient and sleepless nights. In Germany, the most significant  country in the eurozone, the benchmark DAX is down over 25% since late July. Just  in one month! Things do not look promising. Stock markets across Europe are tanking and, as I have said,  Europe is not a place to park your capital  based on my global economic analysis. There was more evidence of an economic downfall in Europe after the European Union’s economic sentiment  index fell for the sixth straight time. Germany showed the biggest decline.  Without a recovery in Germany,  the eurozone is in trouble, but we know that. The reality is that growth around the world is stalling and  the fear is that it could worsen and drive another recession or deepen existing  recessions in many regions in Europe. And, with  the existing debt and deficit issues, it will be hard for the governments to  focus on driving growth. The aftermath could be several more years of economic  stalling in Europe. This is a big problem, as Europe has over 500 million people and is a major economic  zone.

September 1, 2011.

Why the European Union May Have Only a Week to Live: By Shah Gilani, Capital Waves Strategist, Money Morning.
The clock may be ticking on the future of the European Union (EU). After being shaken to its core by the sovereign debt crisis, the entire Eurozone now runs the risk of blowing up within a week. Germany’s highest court, the German Federal Constitutional Court, on Sept. 7 rules on the legality of German participation in the euro rescue fund that was established to bail out Greece. If the court rules that Berlin’s commitment to the European Financial Stability Facility(EFSF) goes against EU law, or worse, against the German constitution, the entire Eurozone could collapse. Think of the Eurozone as a minefield full of bombs that have long lay dormant, but are all still very active. Now, Germany’s court ruling – itself a single bomb timed to go off next Wednesday – could ignite a massive chain reaction. Germany: The Eurozone’s Bomb Squad: Peripheral Eurozone countries like Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain, and Italy (the PIIGS) are in serious trouble and European banks face monumental liquidity and balance sheet issues.  So far, only Germany’s singular fiscal conservativism and economic strength have kept the EU from self-destructing. But now the Eurozone’s only legitimate bomb squad may be hanging up its lead-suits, pliers, and contagion containers. What’s at issue for the Constitutional Court is whether Berlin broke the EU’s Maastricht Treaty, which unequivocally stipulates that member states cannot assume each other’s debts. And, more germane to German citizens and the center-right coalition government, will be the Court’s ruling on whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to fund the bailout facility circumvented constitutional requirements to put such fiscal matters before the German parliament.  And while the court isn’t ruling directly on the EU’s currency – or Merkel’s support of it – the decisions rendered will have consequences for the euro’s future and by extension, the EU as a whole.  
Wednesday, August  31, 2011 5:33 PM.  Last April, Goldman Sachs settled with the SEC for $500 million over the synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO), Abacus. Even then, we predicted the mortgage lawsuits would get worse. We’ve written about the topic several times in these pages, so I will summarize the ordeal today…The SEC alleged Goldman sold investors a CDO without disclosing that hedge fund Paulson & Co. helped design the CDO and was shorting it. Buyers of the Abacus CDO (ACA Financial and German bank IKB) lost nearly $1 billion as mortgages plummeted. A synthetic CDO, by definition, must have someone on the long and short side. It is simply a bet on the direction of a pool of underlying mortgages. The buyers (huge financial institutions) should have known an investor was taking the other side of the bet. The Goldman lawsuit was just the beginning, we argued. Once the investigations moved on to CDOs containing real mortgages, we’d see real damage…wow, it seems clear to me suing Goldman about this issue – a case involving a synthetic CDO that the regulator will probably lose – is simply raising a red herring. Left unexamined is the much larger issue: the extraordinary amount of fraud in mortgage underwriting between 2004 and 2007. – April 21, 2010 S&A Digest.    The real fireworks will come in the investigations over CDOs containing bona fide mortgages. These vehicles were completely riddled with fraud and insider dealing. Then, almost half of them were sold to Fannie and Freddie, now owned by Uncle Sam.   When you defraud the sovereign, watch out. We think the fines are going to get a lot bigger… and we’d be surprised if Morgan Stanley survives. Interestingly, we also think the amount of fraud in the mortgage security industry means it’s unlikely the insurance on these bonds will remain in force. And that means the $30 billion or so of implied losses mortgage insurer MBIA faces may never be paid out. That’s a big number for a stock with a current market value of only $1.35 billion and assets of $25 billion. – July 16, 2010 S&A Digest 
In June, Bank of America announced it would pay $8.5 billion to settle claims from investors who lost money on mortgage-backed securities they bought before the crash. A group of investors (including giants like Black Rock, PIMCO, and MetLife) alleged mortgages they purchased from Countrywide (which Bank of America bought in 2008 for $4 billion) were filled with loans that didn’t meet the stated quality standards. The investors also alleged Countrywide didn’t keep accurate records of the loans.
Yesterday was the last day to file objections to the Bank of America settlement. And there’s a long list of objectors. Goldman Sachs said the settlement lacks enough information to prove all “similarly situated” investors were treated equally. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are also objecting to the settlement… as are dozens of other mortgage investors.
Why the objections? We don’t know for certain… But we’d guess the objectors also took huge write downs on mortgages they purchased from Countrywide. And they want a higher recovery.
This week, U.S. Bancorp, a trustee for a $1.75 billion Countrywide mortgage pool, separately sued Bank of America to make it buy back the mortgages. AIG, the insurer, is also suing Bank of America for $10 billion in a separate case involving mortgage-backed securities.
Bank of America has huge potential liabilities with these outstanding lawsuits. And the bank doesn’t make any money… It lost $3.2 billion over the past three years. It’s had negative net income for the past two years. That’s why it’s scrambling to raise capital. The bank took 
$5 billion from Warren Buffett. It sold half its stake in China Construction Bank for around $8 billion.
Today, news arose that Bank of America will sell its correspondent mortgage business (through which it purchases loans from smaller lenders, sells them, then continues servicing them). Bank of America decided to exit the business about six weeks ago. The business employs more than 1,000 people. And it was responsible for 47% of Bank of America’s mortgage originations in the first quarter of 2011. It is a huge retreat,” said Guy Cecala, publisher of the trade journal Inside Mortgage Finance. “Exiting correspondent altogether will reduce their volume significantly.”Europe in Limbo as Asian Fear Rises:  The Leong Side of the Market, by George Leong, B. Comm.
http://www.profitconfidential.com/gurus/  September, 2011The situation in Europe continues to focus on the debt and growth, along with the funding. And, until it calms down in Europe, markets will likely remain shaky on this side of the Atlantic. There is talk that Greece may need to leave the  European Union due to its failure to satisfy financial targets set in place as  a condition for receiving emergency capital from its European neighbors. I thought this could be a possibility given that I did not believe that the stronger nations of Germany and France would want to continue to fund the poor countries. The reality is that growth in both Germany and France has suffered with the focus squarely on saving the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece,  and Spain). In my global economic analysis, this trend cannot continue much longer or Europe will falter and fall  into a deeper or new recession. The problem is that ousting Greece would not be  viewed as a positive signal to the rest of the world, as it could signal a  domino effect that could lead to other countries also leaving, which is not  what you want to see. The European Central Bank (ECB) maintained its benchmark  lending rates at 1.50% at the Thursday meeting. But the situation is cloudy in  the eurozone, after the ECB cut its gross domestic product (GDP) growth  forecast. Of course, this is not a surprise given the recent downgrades in Europe. Morgan Stanley cut its global GDP forecasts for 2011 and 2012 and added that the U.S.  and the eurozone were “dangerously close to a recession.” The Money Masters: Behind the Global Debt Crisis – by Adrian Salbuchi. New Dawn Magazine No. 128 (September-October 2011)In fact, if we look at matters in their proper perspective, we will see that most national economies are pretty much intact, in spite of having been badly bruised by the financial collapse. It is Finance that is in the midst of a massive global collapse, as this Model of “Ponzi” Finance has grown into a sort of malignant “cancerous tumour” that has now “metastasised,” threatening to kill the whole economy and social body politic, in just about every country in the world, and certainly in the industrialised countries. The above comparison of today’s financial system with a malignant tumour is more than a mere metaphor. If we look at the figures, we will immediately be able to see signs of this financial “metastasis.” For example, The New York Times in their 22 September 2008 edition explains that the main trigger of the financial collapse that had exploded just one week earlier on 15 September was, as we all know, mismanagement and lack of supervision over the “Derivatives” market. The Times then went on to explain that twenty years earlier, in 1988, there was no derivatives market; by 2002 however, Derivatives had grown into a global 102 trillion Dollar market (that’s 50% more than the Gross Domestic Product of all the countries in the world, the US, EU, Japan and BRICS nations included), and by September 2008, Derivatives had ballooned into a global 531 trillion Dollar market. That’s eight times the GDP of the entire planet! “Financial Metastasis” at its very worst. Since then, some have estimated this Derivatives global market figure to be in the region of One-Quadrillion Dollars… Naturally, when that collapse began, the caretaker governments in the US, European Union and elsewhere, immediately sprang into action and implemented “Operation Bail-out” of all the mega-banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges and speculation markets, and their respective operators, controllers and “friends.” Thus, trillions upon trillions of Dollars, Euros and Pounds were given to Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, Morgan Stanley, AIG, HSBC and other “too big to fail” financial institutions… which is newspeak for “too powerful to fail”, because they hold politicians, political parties and governments in their steel grip. All of this was paid with taxpayer dollars or, even worse, with uncontrolled and irresponsible issuance of Public Money bank notes and treasury bonds, especially by the Federal Reserve Bank which has, in practice, technically hyper-inflated the US Dollar: “Quantitative Easing” they call it, which is Newspeak for hyperinflation. So far, however, like the proverbial Naked Emperor, nobody dares to state this openly. At least not until some “uncontrolled” event triggers or unmasks what should by now be obvious to all: Emperor Dollar is totally and completely naked.7 When that happens, we will then see bloody social and civil wars throughout the world and not just in Greece and Argentina. By then, however, and as always happens, the powerful bankster clique and their well-paid financial and media operators, will be watching the whole hellish spectacle perched in the safety and comfort of their plush boardrooms atop the skyscrapers of New York, London, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo…   By Jack Barnes, Global Macro Trends Specialist, Money Morning , October 10, 2011:  Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) is about to be critically wounded by the European banking crisis. So it’s time to sell Deutsche Bank AG (**), before the region’s financial system falls apart. Europe’s Coming Capital Crunch Many European banks don’t have enough money to survive a Greek default. They hold huge amounts of their home sovereign’s debt, as well as debt of their troubled Eurozone neighbors. Any write-down of those holdings will slam their balance sheets.
These banks were already overleveraged when the financial crisis started in 2007, and they have relied on outside sources like the United States to maintain core capital ratios.
In the 2008 crash, the European banks turned to the U.S. Federal Reserve for trillions of dollars of liquidity injections. They also used sources like U.S. money market funds for short-term loans – commercial paper that matures in less than 270 days – to cover capital loaned out at longer maturities. In May 2011, U.S. money market funds had an average 40% of holdings in European commercial bank paper.
But then U.S. banks, afraid of the unfolding European sovereign debt drama, let these short-term loans mature. This brought the capital back home and took an estimated $350 billion in liquidity out of the European banking system.
   October 12, 2011. By Keith Fitz-Gerald, Chief Investment Strategist, Money Morning. Do you want to know the real reason banks aren’t lending and the PIIGS have control of the barnyard in Europe? It’s because risk in the $600 trillion derivatives market isn’t evening out. To the contrary, it’s growing increasingly concentrated among a select few banks, especially here in the United States. In 2009, five banks held 80% of derivatives in America. Now, just four banks hold a staggering 95.9% of U.S. derivatives, according to a recent report from the Office of the Currency Comptroller. The four banks in question: JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS). Derivatives played a crucial role in bringing down the global economy, so you would think that the world’s top policymakers would have reined these things in by now – but they haven’t. Instead of attacking the problem, regulators have let it spiral out of control, and the result is a $600 trillion time bomb called the derivatives market. Think I’m exaggerating? The notional value of the world’s derivatives actually is estimated at more than $600 trillion. Notional value, of course, is the total value of a leveraged position’s assets. This distinction is necessary because when you’re talking about leveraged assets like options and derivatives, a little bit of money can control a disproportionately large position that may be as much as 5, 10, 30, or, in extreme cases, 100 times greater than investments that could be funded only in cash instruments. The world’s gross domestic product (GDP) is only about $65 trillion, or roughly 10.83% of the worldwide value of the global derivatives market, according to The Economist. So there is literally not enough money on the planet to backstop the banks trading these things if they run into trouble. Short-term borrowing costs would skyrocket and liquidity would evaporate. That would cause a ricochet across the Atlantic as the institutions themselves then panic and try to recover their own capital by withdrawing liquidity by any means possible. And that’s why banks are hoarding cash instead of lending it. The major banks know there is no way they can collateralize the potential daisy chain failure that Greece represents. So they’re doing everything they can to stockpile cash and keep their trading under wraps and away from public scrutiny.  What really scares me, though, is that the banks  think this is an acceptable risk because the odds of a default are allegedly smaller than one in 10,000.  But haven’t we heard that before?  Although American banks have limited their exposure to Greece, they have loaned hundreds of billions of dollars to European banks and European governments that may not be capable of paying them back.  According to the Bank of International Settlements, U.S. banks have loaned only $60.5 billion to banks in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy – the countries most at risk of default. But they’ve lent $275.8 billion to French and German banks.  And undoubtedly bet trillions on the same debt.  There are three key takeaways here: There is not enough capital on hand to cover the possible losses associated with the default of a single counterparty – JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), BNP Paribas SA (PINK: BNPQY) or the National Bank of Greece (NYSE ADR: NBG) for example – let alone multiple failures. That means banks with large derivatives exposure have to risk even more money to generate the incremental returns needed to cover the bets they’ve already made. And the fact that Wall Street believes it has the risks under control practically guarantees that it doesn’t. October 14, 2011. By Shah Gilani, Capital Waves Strategist, Money Morning. I’ve already expressed my desire to embrace the Occupy Wall Street movement. I said last week that I would join in whole-heartedly if I knew exactly what the protesters were trying to achieve.  But I don’t know – and I’m not convinced they do, either. Still, that doesn’t mean we should dismiss them entirely. After all, there are millions of Americans who sense there’s something terribly wrong with our capitalist system, but they can’t pinpoint exactly what it is either. But I can.  Bad actors have done bad things to good institutions and our capitalist system. Today, I’m going to let you in on who three of those bad actors are. You see, part of the problem is that when we think of the “bad guys” on Wall Street, or in Washington for that matter, we don’t often think of specific people. We talk about “them” as faceless men we might imagine sitting in luxurious high-rises chewing on cigars and laughing as they rake in millions, or even billions of dollars on the backs of hardworking Americans.  I intend to fix that. I want to shed light on the faces of the people who are gaming the system and lay out before you the tools they’re using to get away with it. So, I’m going to start today with three of the biggest perpetrators of the mess we’re in. The Three Bears. There are hundreds of bad actors on Wall Street, but three in particular tell the inside story of how appallingly corrupt our country has become. They are: Robert Rubin, who spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), before becoming Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration. Lawrence Summers, who came out of the World Bank and was Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under his pal Rubin before becoming Treasury Secretary himself in 1999. And Phil Gramm, once a practicing economist who served as a Republican Senator for Texas from 1985 to 2002. These are the men who – with help of then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan – interfered with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an important regulatory body, to squash any regulation of derivatives. And now the notoriously murky derivatives market, which was hugely responsible for the 2008 financial crisis, has grown into a $600 trillion trouble spot for the economy. This group of very influential and powerful men made sure there was no oversight of derivatives products and markets.None. While that was an incredible gift to Wall Street’s biggest banks and hedge funds, the Three Bears (I call them that because their actions drove us into the systemic economic bear market from which we’re still struggling to emerge) weren’t nearly done.  The Beginning of the End.  in April 6, 1998 Citicorp and Travelers Group announced that they would merge into a single company.  But there was a problem.  At the time, such a merger would have violated the Glass Steagall Act. If you’re not familiar with it, the Glass Steagall Act is – or rather was – a piece of Depression-era legislation that established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and mandated the separation of commercial banks, investment banks, and insurance companies. It incorporated other practical and prudent regulations enacted to safeguard investors and the public , as well.  But , lessons learned from the Depression were eventually forgotten – or maybe more precisely, steamrolled by a sweeping deregulatory movement that took root in 1980.  On the day of the announced combination, Traveler’s chairman, Sandy Weill, addressed impediments to the merger in the New York Times, noting that current law would allow the new Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) time to divest itself of assets in order to comply with Glass-Steagall.  However, ominously he added: “We are hopeful that over time the legislation will change.”  Just one year later, it did. The same powerful group of influence-peddling government insiders overturned Glass-Steagall in November 1999, so the illegal merger didn’t have to be reversed. The law that obliterated the prudent separation of FDIC-backed commercial banks and swing-for-the-fences investment banks became known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley ActThis act is what paved the way for giant, financial super firms that are so intertwined in the financial markets they’re now all considered “too-big-to-fail.” In Eerie Epilogue.  So what happened to our three players? Were they penalized or held accountable for the undermining of our economy and the implosion of markets? No. They were rewarded. Robert Rubin went to work for the new Citigroup as a senior advisor of the firm. Rubin made $126 million in cash and stock during his eight years of service, while the bank leveraged itself up by using depositor money. It had to be bailed out in 2008.  Lawrence Summers reportedly took some $20 million from D.E. Shaw & Co., a giant hedge fund that dabbles in derivatives, for a two-year stint doing something nobody at the firm could confirm.  And Phil Gramm, the venerable Texas senator, upon retiring from that powerful position, immediately became vice chairman of the investment bank division of UBS AG (NYSE: UBS).  Yes, UBS – the same Swiss bank that in 2008 had to be backstopped by the Swiss National Bank when its overleveraged and derivatives-laden balance sheet imploded. The same bank that later paid $780 million to settle criminal charges over its conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and federal government of legitimately owed taxes.  These are the kinds of things that are taking place every day thanks to Wall Street’s influence over our executive and legislative branches of government. And you better believe that average Americans and the Occupy Wall Street protestors can sense that, and they know they should be angry. They just can’t put their finger on why. I can because I’m a Wall Street guy who spent 30 years working within the system. I studied economics and started my career as a trader on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE). I ran the futures and options division of a giant international money-center bank. I’ve done everything from trading bonds and mortgage-backed securities to running my own hedge funds. And I have hundreds of stories full of corruption and greed – just like this one.  Not everyone on Wall Street is a bad actor. Most of the professionals working in the capital markets across America are good and honest people. But, there are kingpins and kingmakers whose greed is so disgusting they will sink America for their own fistful of dollars.  It’s time we had better insights into what’s really going on and time to indict some of these bad actors. Editor’s NoteMoney Morning Capital Waves Strategist and retired hedge-fund manager Shah Gilani became a national icon in 2008, as he dissected the shady workings of Wall Street, uncovering how the greed of a few brought down the economy of our entire country. He’s since launched a new publication called Wall Street Insights & Indictments. His goal simply is to show you what’s really going on in the markets, so you can “know the story” and make some money.                                                                                                                                                                     October 13, 2011. THE CLINKHedge-Fund Boss Gets 11 Years. Former hedge-fund tycoon Raj Rajaratnam has been sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined $10 million for insider trading, the longest-ever such sentence. Rajaratnam, the founder of Galleon Group, got tips from a network of insiders in Goldman Sachs, Google, Intel, and other companies. Prosecutors say he made $72 million from insider trading, while Rajaratnam’s lawyers say it was only $7.4 million. The Economist says good riddance to the “know-it-all” billionaire—and praises a new boon for regulators looking to crack down on trading abuses.  By Bob Van Voris, Patricia Hurtado and David Glovin  –  Oct 12, 2011 11:00 PM CT,  Thu Oct 13 04:00:00 GMT 2011:  Galleon Group LLC’s Raj Rajaratnam Peter Foley/Bloomberg.  Raj Rajaratnam, co-founder of Galleon Group LLC.  Raj Rajaratnam, co-founder of Galleon Group LLC. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) — Douglas Burns, a formal federal prosecutor, talks about Galleon Group LLC co-founder Raj Rajaratnam’s sentencing today for masterminding the biggest hedge-fund insider trading scheme in U.S. history. Burns speaks with Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.” (Source: Bloomberg)  Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) — Galleon Group LLC’s Raj Rajaratnam will be sentenced today for masterminding the biggest hedge-fund insider trading scheme in U.S. history, facing a federal judge who has broad discretion in setting his punishment. Sarah Eisen reports on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.” (Source: Bloomberg).  Galleon Group LLC’s Raj Rajaratnam will be sentenced today for masterminding the biggest hedge-fundinsider trading scheme in U.S. history, facing a federal judge who has broad discretion in setting his punishment. U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell in Manhattan presided over the jury trial in which Rajaratnam was convicted of 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy. He will consult federal sentencing guidelines and his own “gut feeling,” one legal expert said. Read it at Bloomberg. These Three Men Represent Everything That’s Wrong with Wall Street byShah Gilani I’ve already expressed my desire to embrace the Occupy Wall Street movement. I said last week that I would join in whole-heartedly if I knew exactly what the protesters were trying to achieve. But I don’t know – and I’m not convinced they do, either. Still, that doesn’t mean we should dismiss them entirely. After all, there are millions of Americans who sense there’s something terribly wrong with our capitalist system, but they can’t pinpoint exactly what it is either. But I can. Bad actors have done bad things to good institutions and our capitalist system. Today, I’m going to let you in on who three of those bad actors are. You see, part of the problem is that when we think of the “bad guys” on Wall Street, or in Washington for that matter, we don’t often think of specific people. We talk about “them” as faceless men we might imagine sitting in luxurious high-rises chewing on cigars and laughing as they rake in millions, or even billions of dollars on the backs of hardworking Americans. I intend to fix that. I want to shed light on the faces of the people who are gaming the system and lay out before you the tools they’re using to get away with it. So, I’m going to start today with three of the biggest perpetrators of the mess we’re in. The Three Bears.There are hundreds of bad actors on Wall Street, but three in particular tell the inside story of how appallingly corrupt our country has become. They are: Robert Rubin, who spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), before becoming Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration. Lawrence Summers, who came out of the World Bank and was Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under his pal Rubin before becoming Treasury Secretary himself in 1999. And Phil Gramm, once a practicing economist who served as a Republican Senator for Texas from 1985 to 2002. These are the men who – with help of then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan – interfered with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an important regulatory body, to squash any regulation of derivatives.And now the notoriously murky derivatives market, which was hugely responsible for the 2008 financial crisis, has grown into a $600 trillion trouble spot for the economy.This group of very influential and powerful men made sure there was no oversight of derivatives products and markets. None. While that was an incredible gift to Wall Street’s biggest banks and hedge funds, the Three Bears (I call them that because their actions drove us into the systemic economic bear market from which we’re still struggling to emerge) weren’t nearly done. The Beginning of the End On April 6, 1998 Citicorp and Travelers Group announced that they would merge into a single company. But there was a problem. At the time, such a merger would have violated the Glass Steagall Act. If you’re not familiar with it, the Glass Steagall Act is – or rather was – a piece of Depression-era legislation that established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and mandated the separation of commercial banks, investment banks, and insurance companies. It incorporated other practical and prudent regulations enacted to safeguard investors and the public , as well. But, lessons learned from the Depression were eventually forgotten – or maybe more precisely, steamrolled by a sweeping deregulatory movement that took root in 1980. On the day of the announced combination, Traveler’s chairman, Sandy Weill, addressed impediments to the merger in the New York Times, noting that current law would allow the new Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) time to divest itself of assets in order to comply with Glass-Steagall. However, ominously he added: “We are hopeful that over time the legislation will change.”Just one year later, it did.The same powerful group of influence-peddling government insiders overturned Glass-Steagall in November 1999, so the illegal merger didn’t have to be reversed. The law that obliterated the prudent separation of FDIC-backed commercial banks and swing-for-the-fences investment banks became known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. This act is what paved the way for giant, financial super firms that are so intertwined in the financial markets they’re now all considered “too-big-to-fail.” An Eerie Epilogue So what happened to our three players? Were they penalized or held accountable for the undermining of our economy and the implosion of markets? No. They were rewarded. Robert Rubin went to work for the new Citigroup as a senior advisor of the firm. Rubin made $126 million in cash and stock during his eight years of service, while the bank leveraged itself up by using depositor money. It had to be bailed out in 2008. Lawrence Summers reportedly took some $20 million from D.E. Shaw & Co., a giant hedge fund that dabbles in derivatives, for a two-year stint doing something nobody at the firm could confirm. And Phil Gramm, the venerable Texas senator, upon retiring from that powerful position, immediately became vice chairman of the investment bank division of UBS AG (NYSE: UBS). Yes, UBS – the same Swiss bank that in 2008 had to be backstopped by the Swiss National Bank when its overleveraged and derivatives-laden balance sheet imploded. The same bank that later paid $780 million to settle criminal charges over its conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and federal government of legitimately owed taxes. These are the kinds of things that are taking place every day thanks to Wall Street’s influence over our executive and legislative branches of government. And you better believe that average Americans and the Occupy Wall Street protestors can sense that, and they know they should be angry. They just can’t put their finger on why. I can because I’m a Wall Street guy who spent 30 years working within the system. I studied economics and started my career as a trader on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE). I ran the futures and options division of a giant international money-center bank. I’ve done everything from trading bonds and mortgage-backed securities to running my own hedge funds. And I have hundreds of stories full of corruption and greed – just like this one. Not everyone on Wall Street is a bad actor. Most of the professionals working in the capital markets across America are good and honest people. But, there are kingpins and kingmakers whose greed is so disgusting they will sink America for their own fistful of dollars. It’s time we had better insights into what’s really going on and time to indict some of these bad actors. By Shah Gilani.Oct 14, 2011. EU Finance Summit Awash in Crises. Oct 26, 2011 12:46 PM EDT.  Europe’s leaders finally admit that something must be done with the continent’s banks. Europe’s dirty secret is that its banks have long been even more of a mess than America’s—they were among the biggest investors in America’s toxic subprime assets, and then went big time into the now-toxic bonds of over-indebted states; hence the 62 percent plunge in the Euro Stoxx Financials Index since March, compared with minus-21 percent for the Dow Jones financials. France, which probably has the shakiest banks of any major European economy, to this day has refused to force them to recapitalize and shrink. The plan, as leaked to the Financial Times today, involves a $140 billion bank bailout (though the IMF and others estimate recapitalization needs to be much higher). But it’s a weak plan, full of vague “shoulds” and “oughts” that will likely leave too many loopholes for the banks and their investors to evade forced recapitalization and the absolutely necessary debt-to-equity swaps. The way the bailouts are set up now, they could allow France and others to pass the cost of bank bailouts to Europe’s taxpayers, potentially making the debt crisis worse. Third, in order to prevent contagion to other over-indebted countries, such as Italy and Spain, outlines are emerging for a plan to issue “bond insurance.” Here’s how it works: a bailout fund, possibly leveraged to as high as 2 trillion euros, would cover the first 20 percent or so of any losses by investors on bonds issued by individual European countries. That plan, first put forward by German financial-sector lobbyists, could end up expensive for taxpayers. Bond insurance makes sense, but the cheaper—and more effective—alternative would be not to cover any first loss on any bond, but provide only a kind of catastrophic risk insurance for the worst defaults. That would put a floor on potential losses—and raise bond prices—at a far lower risk to Europe’s taxpayers, says Achim Dübel, a German bond-market expert who developed the plan. Fourth, European leaders are trying to show they’re a little more serious about cutting deficits and lowering their debts. Germany and France are leaning on Italy, whose $2.5 trillion national debt is the world’s third highest after America’s and Japan’s, and whose government bonds are stable only because the ECB is massively buying them. After Greece, Italy is another poster child for what’s wrong with the European Union. The moment the ECB started intervening in the markets to support Italian bonds, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi backed off on a set of planned reforms that would have started to get Italy’s debt under control. It’s an open secret that Berlin would prefer Berlusconi out and a new government in power to push through a backlog of economic reforms that would allow Italy to regain the confidence of investors. Perhaps taking the hint, Berlusconi today started talking about early elections. Italy illustrates perfectly the deeper crisis, which the current plans don’t solve. Many of Europe’s semi-socialist governments simply do not know how to roll back spending, and have been even less eager to pass the kinds of market-opening economic reforms that would raise growth and make it easier to pay back debt. France, which together with its wobbly banks is the elephant in the room of the euro crisis, has never passed a serious reform to its pensions, civil service, or employment laws in the last 60 years. Greece, despite the crisis, has barely even begun to privatize or start collecting back taxes. The problem is that once any comprehensive bailout deal is signed, power will shift back to the debtors, as Europe has no mechanism to force a Sarkozy or Berlusconi to reform. The paradox, therefore, is that without the pressure of the current crisis, the much deeper crisis will continue to fester.  (Stefan Theil is Newsweek’s Berlin bureau chief and covers European politics, business, and economics. He has reported from more than 20 countries and written for Foreign Policy, the Financial Times, The New Republic, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and Die Welt.) For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com. Without warning, Lloyd’s – the world’s oldest insurance market – announced that it has withdrawn its money from European banks. The reason? According to Lloyd’s, the banks are in danger of failing as Europe’s debt crisis continues to intensify. The company’s Finance Director, Luke Savage, put it simply: “If you’re worried the government itself might be at risk, then you’re certainly worried the banks could be taken down with them.” Which European governments is Lloyd’s talking about? They’re not saying.  But it IS interesting to note that Lloyd’s didn’t just withdraw its money from Greek banks; it withdrew its money from banks all over Europe! One thing you can be sure of, though: When the world’s oldest insurance company…A firm that for 323 years has made its living by accurately calculating the odds of future disasters…When that company suddenly takes its money and runs, it’s a MASSIVE red flag for investors – a clear sign that the beginning of the end is near! Lloyd’s has every reason to worry. In addition to the government debt crisis that’s threatening to destroy European banks, a huge credit crisis is spreading across the continent, as well. Spanish and Italian banks are rejecting massive numbers of loans and charging customers more as the sovereign debt crisis continues to drive their own borrowing cost higher. Any way you look at it, this shrinking of European credit markets is the worst kind of downward spiral: The government debt crisis is making it harder and more expensive for banks to borrow money; the banks are passing those higher costs along to borrowers. Corporations have to pay more to borrow; their cost of doing business is rising. Consumers can’t or won’t borrow at higher rates, so corporate earnings plunge. As corporate earnings evaporate, the taxes they pay also plummet. Falling tax revenue cause the government’s deficits to explode higher, driving the banks’ cost of borrowing even higher. And so, the death spiral continues… My urgent online video
will show you what to do right now… If you think Europe’s woes aren’t going to spill over onto our shores – THINK AGAIN! 
In fact, we believe that the United States is about to get slammed. In some key aspects  the U.S. is now in WORSE shape  than Brazil, Russia, Greece or Spain have ever been. Consider the high-risk gambles that super-investor Warren Buffett calls “financial weapons of mass destruction.” I’m talking about special kinds of investments called “derivatives.” They were a major cause of the real estate and debt crisis that nearly wiped out all of our largest banks in 2008 — along with the entire U.S. economy. Russia’s banks never exposed themselves to large amounts of these financial time bombs.  Neither did Brazil’s banks. And you’d think that, after the 2008 meltdown, U.S. banks would have learned their lesson. But you’d be wrong. According to the Comptroller of the Currency, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department — U.S. banks held $176 trillion in derivatives at the height of the debt crisis in 2008. Today, U.S. banks hold $244 trillion in derivatives — nearly 40% more.  That fact alone places the U.S. in greater danger than many other countries, past or present. U.S. debt and obligations are now OVER $120 TRILLION! America is also in great danger for another big reason. Washington is now sitting on the largest pile of debt in the history of civilization: About $14.5 trillion and counting. They are the men and women who directly advised presidents of both major parties, including President Obama, and all of them have since departed from their office. They recently wrote that that the next debt crisis could, and I quote “Dwarf 2008!” That’s an absolutely shocking assertion: In 2008, Wall Street came within a hair of a massive, devastating meltdown. Virtually ALL of our largest banks were pushed to the brink of failure. The entire country was only a few hours away from a fatal collapse.  Now, these ten former White House advisors are warning that this next debt crisis could dwarf the last one. Why? What could cause that? They say it’s precisely the monumental event I just told you about: The fact that one day foreigners may simply stop lending more of their money to the United States. And these ten former presidential advisers are not the only ones ringing the alarm bells. Senator Mark Warner says, “We’re approaching financial Armageddon.” Senator Joe Manchin calls this crisis “A fiscal Titanic.” Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is warning that this crisis is “the biggest threat to our national security.” Economist Robert Samuelson warns that this crisis has the power to trigger “An economic and political death spiral.” Democrat Erskine Bowles, who headed up the president’s deficit commission, warns that this crisis is “like a cancer; it’s truly going to destroy the country from within.” Senator Mike Crapo says it is “a threat to not just our way of life, but to our national survival.” It has the power to “ … guarantee that this nation becomes a second-rate power with less opportunity and less freedom.” And David Walker — the former U.S. Comptroller General and director of the Government Accountability Office says: “The bottom line is: We’re not Greece. But we could end up with the same problems!”  And mind you, these men are not extremists. They have nothing to gain by trying to scare you. They are merely following the facts to their logical conclusion. That’s what I’ve done in this report. The warnings I’ve given you are based on nothing more — and nothing less — than economic reality and historical fact.  My research team and I have simply crunched the numbers and let the chips fall where they may — just like we did when we issued “D” ratings on nearly every big bank and savings and loans that subsequently failed. Just like we did when we gave a “C” rating to the United States. We have no political axe to grind. We are not beholden to Republicans, Democrats, or any other political party. Nor do we owe allegiance to Wall Street or any of the thousands of banks, companies and countries that we rate.  In fact, most of them would probably prefer that we just kept our mouths shut. One giant company even threatened my life by saying “Weiss had better shut up or get a body guard.” But to quote Harry Truman, “I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.” Our loyalty is with the people — consumers, savers, investors and everyday citizens. Martin D. Weiss, Ph.d. Publisher,Safe Money Investor Service; 15430 Endeavour Drive Jupiter, FL 33478, 800-236-0407, 561-625-6685 (Fax). November 4, 2011. BShah Gilani, Capital Waves Strategist, Money Morning Did you hear the story about MF Global?  No, not the headlines about its bankruptcy – the real story. If you haven’t heard it yet, it goes something like this. MF Global became a primary dealer only eight months ago.  “Primary dealer” is an elite status. It means the firm is one of only 22 government bond dealers that trades directly with the Federal Reserve’s New York trading desk. Only, the Federal Reserve doesn’t regulate or oversee MF Global, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) does – or rather is supposed to. But, even more incongruously, the CFTC isn’t the first overseer of MF Global . It ceded that responsibility to the CME Group Inc. (Nasdaq: CME), which owns and operates the largest futures exchanges in the United States. The designated self-regulatory organization for more than 50 futures brokers, CME was supposed to be the cop on the beat.  However, t he not-so-funny thing about the relationship between MF Global and the CME Group is that MF Global recently boasted on its Website that it “was the top broker by volume at CME’s metals and energy exchanges in New York and in the top three at its Chicago exchanges.”  So, is it any wonder that the CME just last week audited MF Global’s segregated customer funds and found them to be in compliance?These are the same supposedly segregated funds which the CME is now saying may have been tampered with. According to the CME: “It now appears that [MF Global] made subsequent transfers of customer segregated funds in a manner that may have been designed to avoid detection insofar as MF Global did not disclose or report such transfers to the CFTC or CME until early morning on Monday October 31, 2011.” How much money are we talking about? About $633 million – or 11.6% out of a segregated fund requirement of about $5.4 billion.  Do you see what I’m driving at? So the real story is, the Federal Reserve, which doesn’t regulate MF Global but regulates all banks in the United States, lets a futures commission merchant with investment bank wannabe desires become an insider in its dealings. Meanwhile, a private for-profit enterprise that runs the self-regulatory apparatus that oversees its own customers steps in for a federal agency that’s supposed to be in charge of commodities, futures and derivatives markets. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Let me jump on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) next, because you aren’t going to believe this, either. Subterfuge at the SEC It’s come to light recently that the SEC has been blatantly violating federal law for decades. Since at least 1992 through 2010,the SEC has destroyed more than 9,000 documents that by law were supposed to be saved and turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration and kept for 25 years.  The documents were records of enforcement cases where, after preliminary inquires, it was decided not to pursue full-blown investigations.  When the SEC has information – an anonymous tip or insights from a whistleblower, for instance – that could lead to an investigation, the subjects are pursued as “matters under inquiry,” or MUIs. A couple of examples of MUIs that went nowhere include: The several tips the agency received that Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme; the anonymous tip on Ernst and Young letterhead that said Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. (PINK: LEHMQ) was cooking its books; or the MUIs on insider trading, fraud, and market manipulation at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG), and SAC Capital Advisors, to name a few others. But since none of these MUIs morphed into full-blown investigations, the SEC decided to destroy all records pertaining to these inquiries rather than hand them over to theNational Archives, as federal law requires. When confronted with the unauthorized disposal of federal records, thanks to a couple of steadfast and honest lawyers in the enforcement branch of the SEC, the agency said it was “not aware of any specific instances of the destruction of records.”  What’s shocking and sickening is that even while addressing the Archives’ inquiry into the missing documents, the SEC somehow forgot to disclose to the keeper of federal records its policy to “destroy all such documents” when no further action is warranted. Too bad for the SEC an internal investigation by SEC Inspector General H. David Kotz brought to light the agency’s directive to destroy certain MUIs, along with the discovery of MUIs on old hard drives that somebody accidentally forgot to erase and destroy. Why wouldn’t the SEC keep records of enforcement activities? Why would they destroy critical data and information that could be used in the future to pursue cases that re-surfaced and could lead to bone-crushing conspiracy or racketeering charges, if not even the simple garden variety securities law violations? With any luck, we just might find out.  The SEC could and should face criminal charges for breaking federal law.  There’s a powerful push by a quiet group of angry journalists to get to the bottom of this, and I’m one of them. So, expect to hear more about this as we press on for the truth. In the meantime, it’s high time we take a good look at regulators and not just regulations to see where the cracks are in the prudential governance of markets, financial institutions, and most importantly, individuals who are responsible for decisions that break the law or grossly impact markets and our economy. After all, it’s not just regulations we need to worry about – it’s the regulators too. [Editor’s NoteMoney Morning Capital Waves Strategist and retired hedge-fund manager Shah Gilani became a national icon in 2008, as he dissected the shady workings of Wall Street, uncovering how the greed of a few brought down the economy of our entire country. He’s since launched a new publication called Wall Street Insights & Indictments. His goal simply is to show you what’s really going on in the markets, so you can “know the story” and make some money. And the best part is, it’s absolutely freeJust sign up by clicking here. You’ll also receive Gilani’s latest report: “5 Ways to Trade the Coming EU Collapse – And Make a Killing”.]   By NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB: Published: November 7, 2011 I HAVE a solution for the problem of bankers who take risks that threaten the general public: Eliminate bonuses. More than three years since the global financial crisis started, financial institutions are still blowing themselves up. The latest, MF Global, filed for bankruptcy protection last week after its chief executive, Jon S. Corzine, made risky investments in European bonds. So far, lenders and shareholders have been paying the price, not taxpayers. But it is only a matter of time before private risk-taking leads to another giant bailout like the ones the United States was forced to provide in 2008. The promise of “no more bailouts,” enshrined in last year’s Wall Street reform law, is just that — a promise. The financiers (and their lawyers) will always stay one step ahead of the regulators. No one really knows what will happen the next time a giant bank goes bust because of its misunderstanding of risk. Instead, it’s time for a fundamental reform: Any person who works for a company that, regardless of its current financial health, would require a taxpayer-financed bailout if it failed should not get a bonus, ever. In fact, all pay at systemically important financial institutions — big banks, but also some insurance companies and even huge hedge funds — should be strictly regulated. Critics like the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators decry the bonus system for its lack of fairness and its contribution to widening inequality. But the greater problem is that it provides an incentive to take risks. The asymmetric nature of the bonus (an incentive for success without a corresponding disincentive for failure) causes hidden risks to accumulate in the financial system and become a catalyst for disaster. This violates the fundamental rules of capitalism; Adam Smith himself was wary of the effect of limiting liability, a bedrock principle of the modern corporation Bonuses are particularly dangerous because they invite bankers to game the system by hiding the risks of rare and hard-to-predict but consequential blow-ups, which I have called “black swan” events. The meltdown in the United States subprime mortgage market, which set off the global financial crisis, is only the latest example of such disasters. Consider that we trust military and homeland security personnel with our lives, yet we don’t give them lavish bonuses. They get promotions and the honor of a job well done if they succeed, and the severe disincentive of shame if they fail. For bankers, it is the opposite: a bonus if they make short-term profits and a bailout if they go bust. The question of talent is a red herring: Having worked with both groups, I can tell you that military and security people are not only more careful about safety, but also have far greater technical skill, than bankers. The ancients were fully aware of this upside-without-downside asymmetry, and they built simple rules in response. Nearly 4,000 years ago, Hammurabi’s code specified this: “If a builder builds a house for a man and does not make its construction firm, and the house which he has built collapses and causes the death of the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death.”No such pain faces bailed-out, bonus-taking bankers. The period from 2000 to 2008 saw a very large accumulation of hidden exposures in the financial system. And yet the year 2010 brought the largest bankcompensation in history. It has become clear that merely “clawing back” past bonuses after the fact is not enough. Supervision, regulation and other forms of monitoring are necessary, but insufficient — consider that the Federal Reserve insisted, as late as 2007, that the rapidly escalating subprime mortgage crisis was likely to be “contained.” What would banking look like if bonuses were eliminated? It would not be too different from what it was like when I was a bank intern in the 1980s, before the wave of deregulation that culminated in the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, the Depression-era law that had separated investment and commercial banking. Before then, bankers and lenders were boring “lifers.” Banking was bland and predictable; the chairman’s income was less than that of today’s junior trader. Investment banks, which paid bonuses and weren’t allowed to lend, were partnerships with skin in the game, not gamblers playing with other people’s money. Hedge funds, which are loosely regulated, could take on some of the risks that banks would shed under my proposal. While we tend to hear about the successful ones, the great majority fail and their failures rarely make the front page. The principal-agent problem they have isn’t a problem for taxpayers: Typically their investors manage the governance of hedge funds by ensuring that the manager is hurt more than any of his investors in the event of a blowup. I believe that “less is more” — simple heuristics are necessary for complex problems. So instead of thousands of pages of regulation, we should enforce a basic principle: Bonuses and bailouts should never mix.  Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a professor of risk engineering at New York University Polytechnic Institute, is the author of “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.” He is a hedge fund investor and a former Wall Street trader.   October 14, 2011 By Shah Gilani, Capital Waves Strategist, Money Morning.  I’ve already expressed my desire to embrace the Occupy Wall Street movement. I said last week that I would join in whole-heartedly if I knew exactly what the protesters were trying to achieve. But I don’t know – and I’m not convinced they do, either. Still, that doesn’t mean we should dismiss them entirely. After all, there are millions of Americans who sense there’s something terribly wrong with our capitalist system, but they can’t pinpoint exactly what it is either.  But I can.  Bad actors have done bad things to good institutions and our capitalist system. Today, I’m going to let you in on who three of those bad actors are. You see, part of the problem is that when we think of the “bad guys” on Wall Street, or in Washington for that matter, we don’t often think of specific people. We talk about “them” as faceless men we might imagine sitting in luxurious high-rises chewing on cigars and laughing as they rake in millions, or even billions of dollars on the backs of hardworking Americans.  I intend to fix that. I want to shed light on the faces of the people who are gaming the system and lay out before you the tools they’re using to get away with it. So, I’m going to start today with three of the biggest perpetrators of the mess we’re in. The Three Bears There are hundreds of bad actors on Wall Street, but three in particular tell the inside story of how appallingly corrupt our country has become. They are: Robert Rubin, who spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), before becoming Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration. Lawrence Summers, who came out of the World Bank and was Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under his pal Rubin before becoming Treasury Secretary himself in 1999. And Phil Gramm, once a practicing economist who served as a Republican Senator for Texas from 1985 to 2002. These are the men who – with help of then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan – interfered with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an important regulatory body, to squash any regulation of derivatives.

And now the notoriously murky derivatives market, which was hugely responsible for the 2008 financial crisis, 
has grown into a $600 trillion trouble spot for the economy.

This group of very influential and powerful men made sure there was no oversight of derivatives products and markets. None.

While that was an incredible gift to Wall Street’s biggest banks and hedge funds, the Three Bears (I call them that because their actions drove us into the systemic economic bear market from which we’re still struggling to emerge) weren’t nearly done.
 The Beginning of the End On April 6, 1998 Citicorp and Travelers Group announced that they would merge into a single company.

But there was a problem.

At the time, such a merger would have violated the 
Glass Steagall Act. If you’re not familiar with it, the Glass Steagall Act is – or rather was – a piece of Depression-era legislation that established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and mandated the separation of commercial banks, investment banks, and insurance companies. It incorporated other practical and prudent regulations enacted to safeguard investors and the public , as well.

But , lessons learned from the Depression were eventually forgotten – or maybe more precisely, steamrolled by a sweeping deregulatory movement that took root in 1980.

On the day of the announced combination, Traveler’s chairman, 
Sandy Weill, addressed impediments to the merger in the New York Times, noting that current law would allow the new Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) time to divest itself of assets in order to comply with Glass-Steagall.

However, ominously he added: “We are hopeful that over time the legislation will change.”

Just one year later, it did.

The same powerful group of influence-peddling government insiders overturned Glass-Steagall in November 1999, so the illegal merger didn’t have to be reversed. The law that obliterated the prudent separation of FDIC-backed commercial banks and swing-for-the-fences investment banks became known as the 
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

This act is what paved the way for giant, financial super firms that are so intertwined in the financial markets they’re now all considered “too-big-to-fail.” An Eerie Epilogue So what happened to our three players? Were they penalized or held accountable for the undermining of our economy and the implosion of markets? No. They were rewarded.

Robert Rubin went to work for the new Citigroup as a senior advisor of the firm. Rubin made $126 million in cash and stock during his eight years of service, while the bank leveraged itself up by using depositor money. It had to be bailed out in 2008.

Lawrence Summers reportedly took some $20 million from 
D.E. Shaw & Co., a giant hedge fund that dabbles in derivatives, for a two-year stint doing something nobody at the firm could confirm.

And Phil Gramm, the venerable Texas senator, upon retiring from that powerful position, immediately became vice chairman of the investment bank division of UBS AG (NYSE: 

Yes, UBS – the same Swiss bank that in 2008 had to be backstopped by the Swiss National Bank when its overleveraged and derivatives-laden balance sheet imploded. The same bank that later paid $780 million to settle criminal charges over its conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and federal government of legitimately owed taxes.

These are the kinds of things that are taking place every day thanks to Wall Street’s influence over our executive and legislative branches of government. And you better believe that average Americans and the Occupy Wall Street protestors can sense that, and they know they should be angry. They just can’t put their finger on why.

I can because I’m a Wall Street guy who spent 30 years working within the system. I studied economics and started my career as a trader on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE). I ran the futures and options division of a giant international money-center bank.

I’ve done everything from trading bonds and mortgage-backed securities to running my own hedge funds. And I have hundreds of stories full of corruption and greed – just like this one.

Not everyone on Wall Street is a bad actor. Most of the professionals working in the capital markets across America are good and honest people. But, there are kingpins and kingmakers whose greed is so disgusting they will sink America for their own fistful of dollars.

It’s time we had better insights into what’s really going on and time to indict some of these bad actors.
 [Editor’s NoteMoney MorningCapital Waves Strategist and retired hedge-fund manager Shah Gilani became a national icon in 2008, as he dissected the shady workings of Wall Street, uncovering how the greed of a few brought down the economy of our entire country. He’s since launched a new publication called Wall Street Insights & Indictments. His goal simply is to show you what’s really going on in the markets, so you can “know the story” and make some money. And the best part is, it’s absolutely freeJust sign up by clicking here. You’ll also receive Gilani’s latest report: “5 Ways to Trade the Coming EU Collapse – And Make a Killing”.] A Bilderberg Leader Mario Monti Takes Over Italy in ‘Coup’ by Alex Newman   Global Research, November 17, 2011; THE New American -2011-11-16 Italy’s new Prime Minister Mario Monti (with wife at left), who rose to power in what critics called a “coup d’etat,” is a prominent member of the world elite in the truest sense of the term. In fact, he is a leader in at least two of the most influential cabals in existence today: the secretive Bilderberg Group and David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission. Nicknamed “Super Mario,” Monti is also an “international advisor” to the infamous Goldman Sachs, one of the most powerful financial firms in the world. Critics refer to the giant bank as the “Vampire Squid” after a journalist famously used the term in a hit piece. But its tentacles truly do reach into the highest levels of governments worldwide.

Italy’s Political Crisis

Following the Italian government’s descent into the economic abyss that saw bond yields soar to record highs as the euro-zone began to come apart at the seams, ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi decided to step down. And late last week, President Giorgio Napolitano asked Monti to form a new government.
 On November 16, the new Prime Minister — who will also serve as Italy’s “Economy Minister” — announced that he was appointing an array of bankers, technocrats, and lawyers to lead the emerging government. After unveiling proposed reforms later this week Monti and his unelected team will face Parliament in a confidence vote.

Some of the nation’s political parties have already said they support the new leadership. But others, including loyal members of Berlusconi’s party, complained of a “coup d’etat” engineered by bankers and the European Union.

“The truth is that there was a big operation, an ‘Italian Job,’ to get Berlusconi out of the way by forcing him to resign,” complainedformer Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, comparing Berlusconi’s ouster to the movie of that same name made in1969 and remade in 2003. While the ex-Prime Minister was not technically forced to resign, he said it was an act of “responsibility.”

Monti: Insider Extraordinaire

Listed as a member of the “steering committee” on the official Bilderberg website, critics say Monti has “establishment” written all over him. The shadowy group he helps lead includes a roster of the world’s real power brokers — media magnates, royalty, military leaders, big bankers, heads of state and government, key CEOs, and more.

The elite members gather once a year in total secrecy, sparking innumerable theories and widespread concern. In 2011 the group met in Switzerland and attracted more scrutiny than in the past.

But despite the attendance of influential reporters, editors, and media power houses, very little of substance was publicly revealed. It is known, however, that Bilderberg played a crucial role in erecting the increasingly powerful supranational regime in Brussels.

Monti is also the European Group chairman of the infamous Trilateral Commission, according to theorganization‘s website. The secretive group, which also lists among its members some of the most influential members of the world elite, was supposedly founded to bring about closer “cooperation” between North America, Europe, and Japan.

The Commission was founded in 1973 by the infamous banker and power-broker David Rockefeller. “Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will,” Rockefeller wrote in his 2002 autobiography. “If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

Monti is also a prominent leader of more than few smaller “think tanks” promoting more “integration,” big government, and globalism. He has been a long-time and consistent supporter of an “economic government” for the EU, as well as more Brussels meddling in social policies.

His career has included academia, politics, banking, and more. And he has held several prominent positions within the European Union apparatus including the job of European Commissioner for Internal Market, Financial Services, Financial Integration, and Taxation.

The Rescue Plan

“I would like to confirm my absolute serenity and conviction in the capacity of our country to overcome this difficult phase,” Monti proclaimed recently. And he will have plenty of help.

The European Central Bank has started to do everything possible to rescue the profligate Italian government – albeit quietly. According to Bloomberg, the ECB began buying up huge quantities and sizesof the regime’s bonds this week.

“There are no real buyers,” European interest-rate strategy chief Mohit Kumar with Deutsche Bank told the news service. Analysts suspected that the ECB move was designed to bolster confidence in the new Italian government and its leader.

Monti’s first task will be to satisfy EU rulers by imposing massive new taxes on the Italian people. Tough “austerity” measures will follow soon after that. He said more growth — a tough task with new and higher taxes — will be his priority.

“I hope that, governing well, we can make a contribution to the calming and the cohesion of the political forces,” Monti explained after meeting with union bosses.

The Italian government is currently drowning in trillions of euros worth of debt — well over 100 percent of GDP. And the market seems largely unwilling to loan it more money without EU prodding, guarantees, and huge yields.

EU and euro-zone advocates are doing everything possible to avoid a calamity that could bring down their precious supranational government and its regional currency. But Italy, as the third-largest euro-zone economy, is simply too big to bail out, according to experts — even with the emerging “dictatorship” mechanism designed to save bankrupt governments and banks using taxpayer money.

Monti could have until 2013 — the next scheduled election — to implement his “reforms,” assuming he gets his way. Critics, however, are calling for new elections to be held as soon as possible.

Critics, Greece & the Future

While Italy will now be governed by the very definition of an “insider,” Greece faces a similar situation. Its new Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos, was the vice president of the ECB and even worked for the Federal Reserve. He has also been a member of the Trilateral Commission for over a decade.

But critics are outraged. “The rise of bankers and unelected technocrats to power in Greece and Italy shows how the unfolding crisis of the euro-zone is undercutting democracy,” complained Costas Panayotakis, a professor of sociology at the New York City College of Technology at CUNY.

Italian activists had harsh words for Monti, too. “The proposed new coalition government headed by Mario Monti can be a fatal trap for Italy’s future,” explained Campaign for World Bank Reform leader Antonio Tricarico. “If most of political forces from the right and the left would support it, the European Commission and the European Central Bank – whose agenda Monti represents – will rule Italy without any opposition for the years to come, beyond any minimum standard of democratic accountability.”

Analysts said installing pro-EU and single-currency rulers in Greece and Italy was aimed at quieting the growing calls for the euro-zone to be dismantled. But it remains unclear whether they will succeed as the economic crisis continues to spiral out of control across Europe.
Alex Newman is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Alex Newman. November 23, 2011.  ByDr. Kent Moors, Global Energy Strategist, Money Morning: I am in Frankfurt, Germany right now attending three days of meetings, and I must say they’re shaping up to be quite interesting. The focus is on structuring a new financial and organizational approach todeveloping Polish shale gas.  A successful outcome would have an impact on both continental energy sources and the ongoing European debt crisis. And the stakes have become even higher in the past several weeks.  In focus this week are the rising energy needs across Europe and what securing considerably greater sources of domestic natural gas will mean to the debt crisis. Meanwhile, we have to consider the potential for some North American companies to generate significant profits by meeting these growing energy demands. As I noted during my last advisory trip to Poland, Warsaw has decided to fast- track its shale gas development. With reserves now estimated to be much higher than initially thought, the country has the opportunity to become self-sufficient and to startexporting gas to other European countries and elsewhere as early as a decade from now.  That would have a serious impact on the energy balance in Europe as a whole. With the prospects of additional domestically produced energy, the balance of payments will be improved, and with it the debt picture. Now reinvigorating the Polish picture is not going to do this on its own. Here is where it gets very interesting. What takes place in Poland will expand elsewhere into Western Europe. There are shale gas reserves in Germany, Hungary, Austria, France, the Baltic countries, Sweden, and even the U.K. Political opposition has suspended activities in France, and the Greens in Germany have given notice that they intend to target shale gas operations after their successes in phasing out the country’s nuclear power stations. Poland, however, has no significant opposition to drilling. At least, not at the moment. But as I advised the government in September, that situation is likely to change as the number of wells increases. In order to combat any opposition, the country is going to need to access to drilling technologies developed in the Western Hemisphere, technologies that address the primary concerns about hyrdofracking and horizontal drilling. The North American Advantage. The eight- to 10-year head start North America has had on the rest of the world means there have been significant technological and operational developments in the U.S. and Canada to meet a number of the environmental and logistical problems related to hy drofracking and horizontal drilling.  It’s these two advances that have ushered in this whole new world of energy in the United States. Now eight to 10 years may not sound like a huge advantage…Three Measures of Success:  Three primary issues are on the table this week. First, companies need to be established in both Poland and more broadly in Europe to coordinate the required field exploration, preparation, drilling, water usage, drilling, processing, environmental protection, supply and support dynamics, gas storage, pipeline networks, terminals, compressor stations, and a range of other matters from training personnel to protecting the transparency necessary in a democratic environment. Second, companies need to have access to funding in ways that will prevent Poland (and other European countries as well) from being dependent upon outside finance. This must be a European Union (EU)-based financing scheme to parallel European-controlled field development and drilling programs. Third, the Polish-then-broader-Europe requirements include immediate access to North America’s “generationally leading” technology. It is at this point that an attitude I have held with companies for years will become operational. The development of shale gas reserves elsewhere in the world will comprise one of the most profitable applications of technology, know-how and experience ever seen. Structural Requirements Ahead. Let me be very clear on this score. U.S. and Canadian companies are set to make significant returns from the Polish experiment – both in Poland itself, and as the applications there move across borders into neighboring states. But this will have to remain a Polish (or German or Austrian or Hungarian) initiative translated into in an EU-wide opportunity. The trick is to structure this as a win-win creation of joint ventures, limited liability companies, holding strategies, and other approaches. Outside companies coming into pan-European major plays like this cannot succeed merely by setting up European-based subsidiaries. This must be a European company in which an American or Canadian company has a vested, but not controlling, interest. The advantage to the European market is access to technology and expertise. The advantage to the outside company is a very lucrative potential revenue flow and an expansion of such work moving forward.  November 30, 2011:  By David Zeiler, Associate Editor, Money Morning ; With credit drying up across Europe we may finally see the Eurozone experience its “Lehman moment” – a replay investment banking collapse that triggered the 2008 financial crisis. Indeed, European banks are having a harder time getting money – part of the fallout from the Eurozone debt crisis – and the resulting credit crunch could freeze business activity, cause bank runs and plunge Europe into a deep recession that would badly damage the global economy. “The Continent is headed towards deflation if there’s not enough money circulating throughout their financing and banking systems,” said Money Morning Capital Waves Strategist Shah Gilani. “This all becomes self-fulfilling at some point. It’s a very dangerous situation, not just for Europe, but for the whole world.” A global financial crisis would derail the struggling U.S. recovery and pinch the profits of many multinational corporations. Fresh data this week from the European Central Bank (ECB) showed the M3 Eurozone money supply actually shrank in October by 0.6%, its steepest drop since January 2009 – the height of the Lehman Brothers crisis. A shrinking money supply is one of the early warning signals that credit availability is drying up, making it difficult or impossible for banks, businesses, and consumers to obtain loans.  “This is very worrying,” Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research told The Telegraph. “What it shows is that the implosion of the banking system on the periphery is now outweighing any growth left in the core. We are seeing the destruction of money and it is a clear warning of serious trouble over the next six months.” Signs of capital draining from European banks abound. The bank bond market is already frozen. European banks in the third quarter were only able to sell bonds worth 15% of what they sold in the same period in the previous two years, according to Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C). In the past six months, U.S. money market funds have withdrawn 42% of their money from European banks. And loans to French banks have fallen 69% since the end of May, according to Fitch Ratings. Even retail customers have started to pull their money out. “We are starting to witness signs that corporates are withdrawing deposits from banks in Spain, Italy, France and Belgium,” an analyst at Citigroup wrote in a recent report. “This is a worrying development.” How It Happened. The current credit crunch has its roots in the Eurozone debt crisis; the big European banks such as BNP Paribas SA, Commerzbank (PINK: CRZBY) and Societe Generale SA (PINK: SCGLY) hold much of the debt from Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain (PIIGS) that has forced a series of bailouts and fiscal emergencies.  But the billions of euros worth of PIIGS government bonds were considered part of the banks’ assets; it could be used as collateral to serve the banks’ various activities. When the Eurozone debt crisis struck, faith in the value of the PIIGS bonds plummeted, which made it almost impossible to use as collateral.  “The discounting of sovereign debt meant that there was less money in the European banking system,” writes John Carney, senior editor of CNBC. “If a one million euro bond previously held as a money-equivalent is now worth just 600,000 euros, the holder has lost 400,000 euros. Multiply that across the banking system, and you have millions of euros of money-equivalents simply vanishing.” Carney said the situation is similar to the impact of the decline in value in the United States of mortgage-backed securities back in 2008.  The Bernanke Remedy. However, during the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. Federal Reserve stepped in to prop up the banks as well as the mortgage market by infusing them with cash. Although the Fed’s European equivalent, the ECB, has continued to buy up PIIGS government bonds in a partially successful attempt to restrain rising bond yields, it has resisted taking action on the scale of the Fed. “This is what happened in the United States in 1930-33,” said Money Morning Global Investing Strategist Martin Hutchinson. “It also happened to a very limited extent in 2008-09. In a real crisis, the interbank lending market seizes up, which collapses even broad money supply. It is the one situation in which the [U.S. Fed Chairman Ben] Bernanke remedy – print the stuff like a madman – works.” But even then, Hutchinson said, the ECB should avoid PIIGS bonds in favor of bonds from more financially stable nations such as Germany, France, Finland and the Netherlands. In fact, the European banks have begged the ECB to do more, particularly more aggressive buying of government bonds. As it is, the big banks are dependent on the ECB; just two weeks ago they took out out $333 billion worth of one-week loans – the largest amount since April 2009. But more drastic action from the ECB appears unlikely, with opposition coming from within the central bank as well as from a German government fearful of triggering inflation. The best that is expected near-term is a December interest rate cut, which won’t do nearly enough. Money Morning‘s Gilani is pessimistic the ECB even has the power to fix the deeper issues, or whether stronger ECB intervention could do anything to prevent the Eurozone’s looming “Lehman moment.” “The ECB doesn’t have the authority to print enough money to ameliorate the situation,” Gilani said. “Buying bonds is a Band-Aid. The real structural problems facing Europe are going to require wholesale lifestyle changes that won’t get done in a year or two. ECB meddling will only serve to extend the problem while they pretend things will sort themselves out.”   November 30, 2011. By Shah Gilani, Capital Waves Strategist, Money Morning: The average American has no idea how protected the big banks in this country really are. For the most part we don’t even blink when we are lied to publicly by their CEOs. Maybe that’s because the biggest bank in the world, the U.S. Federal Reserve, which happens to be a creation of and 100% beholden to the banks that it is a master shill for, also lies to us and covers up Wall Street’s misdeeds. How else can you explain the Federal Reserve’s practice of secretly feeding billions of dollars to big banks, and then looking the other way while those same banks lie to the public about their strength so they can raise desperately needed equity and borrow in the debt markets?  Why else would the Fed prop up Bear Stearns long enough for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) to buy it, and then prop up JPMorgan? Why else would the Fed prop up Merrill Lynch for the benefit of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), and then prop up Bank of America as Merrill dragged it down. And why else would the Fed prop up Wachovia just so it could be taken over by Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) – yet another bank that would come to need even more help?  Power and Ponzi Schemes: The pat answer from the Fed is that propping up failed banks long enough to be taken over by “healthy” institutions is better for the system than letting them fail. On the surface that’s true, but it’s what’s under the surface that’s destroying America’s free market foundation. Here’s what’s come as a result of the Fed’s actions: The “Super-Six” – JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) – which held $6.8 trillion, or about half the industry’s assets in 2006, had increased their holdings by 39% to $9.5 trillion as of September 2011. So what’s really going on is that the country’s biggest banks, which weren’t healthy when their CEOs lied to us (as they still do), have gotten even bigger. With size comes power – the power to pay lobbyists, the power to pay for legislators, and the power to change regulations. These banks don’t always get what they want exactly when they want it, but they do eventually get what they need to make money hand over fist. The whole thing reminds me of a Ponzi scheme. The Federal Reserve might as well be Bernie Madoff and the banks “feeder funds” in this nationalized scheme to perpetuate the channeling of depositor money into banks and investor money into bank stocks and debt securities. For the chain to be broken the Federal Reserve is going to have to be overhauled – seriously overhauled – and big banks are going to have to be broken up, once and for all. The Truth Comes Out. .How deep is the scheme to keep banks growing and their power expanding? The numbers speak for themselves.

The Fed did everything it could to hide its books from public view, but 
Bloomberg LP sued the central bank, and in so doing, forced the Fed to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

Thank you, Bloomberg, this nation owes you a debt of gratitude.

What was revealed were little items – things like the Fed having actually 
shelled out some $7.77 trillion to prop up both domestic and foreign banks, even though some either didn’t need the money or should never have gotten it in the first place.

Why would banks or corporations take money they didn’t need? Because it was essentially free – well not exactly free, since they had to pay about 1% interest in some cases and one-tenth of one percent in other cases.

Still, you can make good money borrowing practically for free and investing that money in anything interest bearing. That includes the toxic assets on many borrowers’ books that they didn’t have to sell because they got financing to keep them on their books. Oh, and that’s still happening, a lot.

You see, part of the big lie was that it would take $700 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money to aid our stricken banks. Of course, that was front money, or money that the public could see. What the public couldn’t see was how bad things really were, because it couldn’t see how much taxpayer money the Fed was shelling out.

Nor could Treasury officials see it, nor could legislators writing new bank regulatory rules to ensure this wouldn’t happen again.

But it will happen again. It’s just a matter of time.
 Fixing the Fed for Good There is only one solution to our banking problems, which are the root of our economic problems.

The Fed needs to have only one mandate, which is price stability. It should be an open, audited, and transparent apparatus serving the public – not banks.

And, as far as banks go, the more the merrier. Break up all the too-big-to-fail institutions. No bank should be able to hold more than 5% of the whole industry’s assets, and if that gives any one bank too much power, cut the number later on.

It’s time we woke up to the lies we’re being told by the Fed and the banks. It’s time to break the chains that enslave us as a free-market nation.
 December 2, 2011 Money Morning staff reports The Eurozone debt crisis has replaced the U.S. financial crisis as the disaster du jour. But make no mistake: U.S. taxpayers will be paying the tab for the U.S. crisis for years.

That’s evidently not true of the banking sector, however, whose massive financial-crisis windfall is just now coming to light.

In its January issue, Bloomberg Markets magazine 
reveals that – at the March 9, 2009 nadir of the financial crisis – the U.S. Federal Reserve had committed $7.77 trillion to rescuing the American financial system. That total was more than half the value of all that was produced in the U.S. economy for that entire year.

While this was going on however, it was a deep, dark secret. The Fed never let on, for instance, that American banks were in such deep trouble that they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 8, 2008 – “their neediest day,” Bloomberg said.

But here’s the best part: Many of the biggest banks have ended up doing great as a result of the central bank’s largesse.

Here’s why: Because these “emergency” Fed loans gave banks access to ultra-low (well-below-market) interest rates between August 2007 and April 2010, banks worldwide were able to earn an estimated $13 billion.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, told Bloomberg that banks seemed to have it both ways.

Banks “were either in bad shape or taking advantage of the Fed giving them a good deal,” he said. “The former contradicts their public statements. The latter – getting loans at below-market rates during a financial crisis – is quite a gift.”

Shah Gilani, 
a financial-crisis expert and Money Morning columnist who edits the free Wall Street Insights & Indictments newsletter, put it more simply: “The average American has no idea how protected the big banks in this country really are. Maybe that’s because the biggest bank in the world is the U.S. Federal Reserve. And it happens to be a creation of – and 100% beholden to – the banks that it is a master shill for. It also lies to us and covers up Wall Street’s misdeeds.”

What follows is a “power ranking” of the 20 banks that saw their outstanding loans peak at more than $25 billion – and some insight on how this Fed lending enabled Wall Street to profit, even as Main Street suffered.
 1. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS)
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $107 billion, Sept. 29, 2008.
With worldwide financial markets in a meltdown mode, Morgan’s apex of loans from U.S. Federal Reserve offerings came just two weeks after Lehman Brothers, its erstwhile competitor, had filed for the biggest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history (more on that in a moment).

2. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $99.5 billion, Jan. 20, 2009.
Talk about being money hungry. The first installment of money from the better-known 
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) wasn’t nearly enough to stop Citi’s bleeding – which is why, in January 2009, Citi required a second infusion of bailout money. No surprise here … that’s also when Citi’s Fed-facilities borrowing reached its apex.

3. Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $91.4 billion, Feb. 26, 2009.
Like Citi, Bank of America was a TARP double-dipper. It also snapped up two companies – Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial Corp. – that, too, were borrowing billions from the U.S. central bank.

4. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (NYSE ADR: 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $84.5 billion, Oct. 10, 2008.
At No. 4, the highest-ranking foreign bank on this list, RBS also got a hefty bit of support from its native United Kingdom government.

5. State Street Bank (NYSE: 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $77.8 billion, Oct. 1, 2008.
The old business adage tells us to cut out the middleman. But not State Street. In fact, Bloomberg News reports that State Street initially served as a middleman, tapping into the central bank’s liquidity facilities to help money-market funds meet soaring redemption demands (collecting a fee for its trouble, of course) – but finally turned to the Fed for help, too.

Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $77.2 billion, Nov. 28, 2008.
A double-dipper of sorts, too, European banking heavyweight UBS achieved this distinction by getting help from the Fed and alsoreceiving a substantive aid package from the Swiss government.

7. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $69 billion, Dec. 31, 2008.
Goldman Sachs execs may not have been celebrating on New Year’s Eve, when its Fed loans hit their apex. That was also the close of the month that saw Goldman report its first quarterly loss since its 1999 IPO.

8. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM)
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $68.6 billion, Oct. 1, 2008.
Like BofA, JPMorgan used the crisis as a cover for a shopping spree. And like BofA, JPMorgan snapped up two other substantive central bank borrowers – Bear Stearns (which it had rescued a bit before this) and Washington Mutual (acquired after a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) seizure in September 2008).

9. Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB)
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $66 billion, Nov. 6, 2008.
It may have been Germany’s biggest bank, but it was one of the U.S. central bank’s biggest debtors: During the 439 days it held Fed liquidity money, Deutsche Bank maintained one of the largest average daily balances at $12.5 billion, according to Bloomberg News.

10. Barclays PLC (NYSE ADR: 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $64.9 billion, Dec. 4, 2008.
Borrowing by the London-based Barclays topped out only a couple of months after a failed first attempt to buy out Lehman Brothers. No matter. That led to a killer deal that enabled Barclays to snap up some of the failed U.S. brokerage firm’s sweetest assets.

11. Merrill Lynch
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $62.1 billion, Sept. 26, 2008.
By the time Merrill Lynch maxed out its central-bank borrowing, the “bullish-on-America” broker had given the nod to a buyout deal from Bank of America. Just a couple months later, the double-whammy of a gargantuan fourth-quarter loss coupled with the revelation of 11th-hour bonus payments to top execs ended the regime of then-CEO John Thain.

12. Credit Suisse Group (NYSE ADR: 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $60.8 billion, Aug. 27, 2008.
Another example of U.S. taxpayer money at work as this Swiss bank got a big boost from central-bank bucks. As Forbes magazine most delicately stated: “Swiss bank … was helped out by U.S. dollars. Credit Suisse had a sizable average daily balance of $13.3 billion – for the 386 days it was in hock to the Fed.”

Dexia SA
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $58.5 billion, Dec. 31, 2008.
Another foreign bank that required U.S. rescue, this French-Belgium-Luxembourg bank didn’t seem to learn its lesson: Dexia is once again under pressure – this time over its exposure to the European financial crisis.

14. Wachovia Corp.
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $50 billion, Oct. 9, 2008.
By the time Wachovia’s central-bank borrowing hit its apex, it was the rope in a takeover tug of war that pitted Citi against Wells Fargo. Wells ultimately prevailed, and snapped up Wachovia.

15. Lehman Brothers Holdings (PINK: 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $46 billion, Sept. 15, 2008.
Lehman’s borrowing peaked on the same day that it filed for the biggest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history. The company, with more than $690 billion in assets, “became a victim, in effect the only true icon to fall in a tsunami that has befallen the credit markets,” Manhattan Bankruptcy Judge James Peck said after a seven-hour bankruptcy hearing that was held exactly one week later.

16. Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $45 billion Feb. 26, 2009.
Not surprisingly, Wells Fargo’s borrowing apex was reached a couple of months after the already referenced buyout of Wachovia. Because it had to absorb the trashed assets of a stumbling Wachovia, Wells Fargo had to take a big hit to its earnings for the final quarter of that year.

17. Bear Stearns
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $30 billion, March 28, 2008.
The Fed 
couldn’t do enough for a Bear Stearns: Not only did the central bank lend money from its still-new liquidity program, it also helped broker the sale to JPMorgan at a bargain price. All the Fed had to do was assume $29 billion in lousy mortgage-backed assets in a facility dubbed “Maiden Lane” (because of the street that runs beside the New York Federal Reserve in Manhattan).

BNP Paribas SA 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $29.3 billion, April 18, 2008.
Yet another foreign bank – this one France’s largest – BNP Paribas was in hock to the U.S. central bank for two years – a relationship that started in December 2007. And like Dexia, another foreign bank that required central bank rescue, BNP also failed to learn its lesson: Data from Barclay’s Capital says BNP has the largest exposure to Greek debt of any French bank.

Hypo Real Estate Bank International AG 
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $28.7 billion, Nov. 4, 2008.
Bloomberg News reports show that this German commercial lender was yet another “double-dipper:” It tapped into U.S. Fed loans through the New York-based unit of a banking subsidiary. Hypo also reaped billions in guarantees and emergency credit from its home government.

20. Fortis Bank
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $26.3 billion, Feb. 26, 2009.
Until it was broken into pieces, nationalized and pieces of it sold to … of all institutions … BNP Paribas, the banking arm of Fortis also snagged billions from the governments of Belgium and Luxembourg.
 [Editor’s Note: If you’re fed up with the rampant corruption, double-dealing, and protection of Wall Street by Washington (at the expense of the taxpayers on America’s Main Street, then you need to read Shah Gilani’s Wall Street Insights & Indictments newsletter. As a retired hedge-fund manager, Gilani is a former Wall Street insider who knows where all the bodies are buried.   December 5, 2011. By Keith Fitz-Gerald, Chief Investment Strategist, Money MorningOne of the biggest problems with Wall Street’s malfeasance is how the ruling elite view legal settlements – as little more than an acceptable cost of doing business.

Well, no more.

Thanks to 
Judge Jed Rakoff we may see some real regulatory action leading to good old-fashioned investigations, perp walks, and even jail for the guilty.

I’m not talking just about the 
Bernie Madoffs or the Raj Rajaratnams either. I’m talking about potentially CEOs and even entire corporate boards.

Judge Rakoff recently rendered a 15-page decision rejecting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) $285 million settlement with Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: 
C) over toxic mortgages, calling it “neither reasonable, nor fair, nor adequate, nor in the public interest.”

This is important because settlements like these have been a farce for years – little more than the financial equivalent of a parking ticket and having about as much impact.

In fact, in a world where banking secrecy is paramount and 
investment firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) and others rule the roost, they’re little more than obfuscations of the truth.

The investigations into these banks are toothless or highly secretive at best. Rarely does the public see anything even remotely resembling full disclosure.

Instead we’re supposed to be placated by headlines insinuating that the SEC, the National Futures Association (NFA) and more than 20 other regulatory agencies are looking out for our best interests.

Who are they kidding?
 A Drop in the Bucket Remember the $550 million fine Goldman was forced to pay for its role in toxic credit default swaps (CDOs)? At the time it was the largest ever levied.

SEC officials couldn’t stumble over themselves fast enough nor get enough sound bites. I recall lots of PR shots with earnest-looking people evidently proud of themselves for having made Goldman pony up at the time.

And the mainstream press loved it. But there was one tiny problem.

The firm booked $13.3 billion that year. Paying off the SEC in a settlement that neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing was an acceptable cost of doing business that amounted to a mere 4% of revenue.

The proposed Citi settlement was much the same. It would have required Citi to give up $160 million of alleged ill-gotten profits, $30 million of interest, and a $95 million kicker for negligence.

Bear in mind, Citi reported full-year net income of $10.6 billion on revenue of $60.5 billion in 2010 which means that, like the Goldman fine, the settlement is a drop in the bucket at a mere 1.50% of net income.
 I think Judge Rakoff’s ruling has been a long time coming. And I love the fact that he specifically called out the Citi settlement as too lenient – especially when it also potentially allows Citi to skate on reimbursing investors for the $700 million the firm lost as part of its toxic mortgage trading.

You may not realize this, but private investors cannot bring securities claims based on negligence. In my mind, they should be able to, but for now this is the way the law stands.

The way I see it, Rakoff’s decision finally gets at the core of what caused the financial crisis: 
toothless regulators beholden to the very powerful elite they were supposed to keep in check.

I am all too glad to see him show the public the first glimpse of backbone we’ve seen yet.

Washington, are you watching and listening?
 Sitting on the Bench, Swinging for the Fences Judge Rakoff noted in his ruling that there is an “overriding public interest in knowing the truth.” Yes, there is.  And as Judge Rakoff put it, the SEC’s core duty is to “see that the truth emerges.” In the event that it doesn’t as part of the settlement process, “courts must not, in the name of deference of convenience, grant judicial enforcement, to the agency’s contrivances.”

I did some checking and I learned that this is not the first time Rakoff has stuck it to the SEC.

Apparently, he’s the one who made headlines when he initially rejected the BofA settlement related to that bank’s shotgun takeover of Merrill Lynch & Co., a fact I’d forgotten.

At the time, Rakoff rejected the SEC’s $33 million BofA settlement on the grounds that it punished shareholders. The SEC then came back with a much more realistic $150 million agreement.

Some think Rakoff has gone too far. They worry that judges have no business interfering in agreements ostensibly reached by private parties.

But I disagree. I believe the SEC is the public.

And the public has the right to know about any case where the transparency of the financial markets (or lack thereof) has so impacted the markets as to destroy the wealth of millions of hard working people and bring the global markets to the edge of oblivion.

Frankly, I’d love to shake Judge Rakoff’s hand.

I hope what he’s done encourages judges to finally stand up for the body of law they supposedly represent and the public that it’s intended to protect.
   December 16, 2011. By Keith Fitz-Gerald, Chief Investment Strategist, Money Morning On Wednesday, Fitch Ratings Inc.downYgraded it