Be Owners Not Donors, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

 

100-dollar bills

Religious institutions in the United States are generally economically corrupt and have been controlled by the commercial banking debt system for over 100 years.

Have you seen Creflow Dollar dancing on top of cash money on stage in his church? Daddy Grace would have his followers pin dollar bills on a money tree. Father Divine would provide a buffet dinner for his followers’ dollars. Reverend Ike would give to his followers what he called a blessing clothe in return for money. The Jehovah’s Witnesses or Watchtower Society founder Charles Taze Russell played on his members’ fears of an apocalyptic end of the world. It was to occur in 1874. It did not occur. Time and again that church would crunch numbers and predict the end of the world. But all that happened is what always happens and that is people were filled with fear and they paid church leaders to not be afraid. In the meantime,  the leaders became wealthy simply making their followers afraid of one scam after the other. None of those kinds of exchanges were economically and morally fair to their members.

Each of them, and those like them, used many gimmicks for one purpose: to get money from people who believed that they could buy happiness from God.

Have you seen the outrageous circus-like atmosphere inside megachurches as their ministers, choirs, and organists emotionally whip their church members up into a frenzy as though they were in a voodoo ritual?

Do you think that my voodoo analogy is farfetched? Maybe you should read the book: Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing-How Evangelists, Psychiatrists, Politicians, and Medicine Men can Change Your Belief.[1] Note the word ‘physiology’. That is the key word in unlocking the method of ‘unconscious’ control exercised over people by master manipulators.

There is logic driving the kind of emotionalism whipped up in mega churches. The group emotional state has the purpose to make individuals act out unconsciously and in predetermined ways.

White Preachers 1

In Mega churches and revival meetings or whenever you have a mass of people gathered, the organizers of such mass meetings know that herd emotional sentiment is greater than any one individual’s capacity to resist it thus making a person less able to make rational choices. They simply follow the herd unconsciously because feelings of insecurities are aroused in them unconsciously.  For example, in a group of 1000 people, if 500 of them reach into their pockets to take out and give money then their act will influence another 250 or more persons to do the same unconsciously especially if they have been whipped up emotionally. People will feel increasingly insecure when not conforming to a crowd especially under timed pressure. The only way for an individual to make the insecure feelings go away is for him or her to follow the herd or leave it.

One tactic used by some churches is to post a tithing list showing those who gave the least at the bottom. The theory is that the insecure feelings aroused in a person when others see their name at the bottom of the list will influence them to give more money and to compete with others who gave more than they did.

rat and cocaine

Another example is an experiment I conducted in a college class I teach. I arranged all of the desks so that they would be facing the rear wall of the classroom. I had about15 students come early to class and told them what I was doing. They sat facing the wall.  I waited outside the classroom. As students came into class they each took a seat facing the wall. A point, they followed the herd unconsciously without thinking whether or not I’d be lecturing in my usual place in front of the class behind the lectern.

Do you understand that most churches, both white and black, are in the business of selling the same kind of indulgences which were sold by the Catholic Church to peasants in medieval Europe? Let me explain to you what an ‘indulgence’ is. “In the sixteenth-century indulgences had already taken on the characteristic of a pure money making act … a way of creating revenue.”[2]  An ‘indulgence’ was a ‘promise’ which a church gave to a believer. It said that if a believer gave to the church money then that money would buy him or her into heaven, it would prevent him her from going to hell or that they would get a blessing from God in life.

But the question now is how did this get incorporated into religious practices in the United States where religious freedom is protected under the U.S. Constitution?

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” The original intent of the ‘free exercise thereof…” clause in the federal constitution is to protect citizens from what had been happening to people in Europe. In Europe, the religious persecution of people by governments and dominant religious groups in the form of discriminatory laws, physical torture, and murder was the norm.

That is why the framers of the constitution included the “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” clause in the Constitution. They did not want religious persecution by either government or dominant religious groups in the United States.

However, the relation between states and federal governments with religious institutions began to change in the 20th century.

The Internal Revenue Service was instituted and codified in 1913 as the 16th amendment to the United States Constitution right after the Federal Reserve Bank Act was signed into law in the same year.

It was written by the same senators and congressmen who wrote the Federal Reserve Bank Bill and who presented it to Woodrow Wilson in 1913 for his signature.

The bankers involved were J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller, Paul Warburg, Senator Aldrich of Rhode Island, the Rothschild family and many others. The Internal Revenue Service was added to the U.S. Constitution as the 16th amendment so that American citizens could be taxed to pay for government expenditures and debt owed to the Federal Reserve Bank.

Religious organizations’ tax status was intentionally written in vague terms within the Internal Revenue Service tax code for a reason.[3]

By writing the tax code for tax-exempt status for religious organizations vaguely, commercial Banks were able to incorporate religious institutions into their banking debt system just as they had incorporated Federal government spending into their debt system.

The banks welcomed the non-profit status to religious organizations. But what was their reason for jubilation? The reason is that they wanted to commercialize religious organizations in the United States because that would create for them yet another constant revenue stream and increased profit margins by means of the fractional reserve deposit rule.

Churches having a non-profit status and which claimed that they helped the poor made them eligible to not be financially transparent as was the Federal Government and State governments; they did not have to be transparent to their members nor to state and federal governments on how much money they collected nor how they spent that money. It meant that they could buy property without having to pay property tax.

This is about the time when we see the big urban religious frauds emerge and their century-long acts of legalized fraud against ignorant black poor people.

No longer is there reinforcement of the original intent of the constitution. It was and is generally not understood by religious people and religious leaders.

And even if some did understand it; making money came to take a priority over spiritual principles.  They became increasingly interested in membership growth because it was the size of church or organization membership as ‘livestock’ which served as their collateral in their efforts to get bank loans.

What that did to religion in the United States was to prevent it from moving to spiritual interests and instead moved it to a predominant interest in commercial activity primarily in the form of making money.

Churches began early in the 20th century to compete with the same and other denominations primarily in growing urban areas. They built bigger and bigger churches as if in an arms race to attract new members who were looking for a higher social status in a larger church.  Churches competed with one another for members as would for-profit businesses compete for customers. Churches had become de facto commercial enterprises.

White and Black Churches have funneled trillions of dollars into commercial banks over many decades. For example, black people donate about 17 billion dollars per year to their churches and white people donate approximately 100 billion dollars per year to their churches.  But that money does not work for the church members. That money was and is then loaned out to the private business sector to expand their profits at the expense of religious congregations. At the end of the day, black church members see no private sector investments into their communities’ infrastructure.

If you are wondering why it was and is so easy for banks to manipulate religious leadership into a commercial relationship with them and with their followers, the answer is a simple one. It was and is because preachers and bank owners understand basic human biology and the psychology of fear as well as the propensity of most humans to be ignorant.

But bankers are smarter than preachers; they are smarter because the bankers have had a great advantage. They have had centuries of experience dealing with the greed of royal families and aristocrats in Europe.

What can we conclude given these facts? We can conclude that most preachers are middlemen and women for not only state and federal governments but also for financial institutions.

We can conclude that most black churches deposit their donations in commercial banks.

We can conclude that those banks make profits on the church deposits far greater than the amount of interest paid on church deposits.

We can conclude that religious members do not receive any monetary returns from their churches even though their churches operate as de facto commercial enterprises.

We can conclude that most church leadership live off of the donations of their church members.

We can conclude that many churches invest money in corporations which violate human rights nationally and internationally.

We can conclude that most black churches are corrupted by the commercial orientation of their denominations and boards of directors.

We can conclude that most black churches merely parrot verses from the Old Testament and New Testament which support their economic interests and which support their authority over their church members.

We can conclude that most black churches are spiritually bankrupt.

We can conclude that the above conditions are the reasons why black church leadership is torn between a socialistic worldview, free-masonry membership, and capitalistic assumptions as their basis for social explanations on how to approach social problems in the black community.

We can conclude that this kind of economic exploitation will continue well into the 21st century because of the deep-seated spiritual ignorance passed on from generation to generation in black communities.

That will continue because black people enjoy the entertainment of circus theatrics and reject spiritual substance and they believe that they can pay their way into heaven or out of hell.  Are there any solutions to this global problem?  I think there are some practical solutions. We must become owners and not remain donors.

One solution is that black Americans should categorically and unequivocally reject giving donations to non-profit organizations and instead demand that they receive dividends from their cash investments from their religious organizations. That would, in turn, require them to demand financial transparency from those religious organizations.

That will require church leaders to present to their congregations well thought out business prospectuses to justify asking them for money.

Black people should demand that their religious leaders include them in profit-making ventures as shareholders or owners and not just faceless donors. The reason is simple. It is unfair for banks to make money on religious donations and for members of religious organizations to get no money in return.

The problem associated with solutions is that people must first have the will to apply those solutions if there is to be any hope of change.

[1] Battle For The Mind, by William Sargant, pub. Malor Books, 1997

[2] The Importance of Indulgences during Medieval Christianity, by Ashley Crawford

[3] The History of the 501(c)(4), by Jacob Gershman, The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2013

Corporate Coup d’Etat of U.S. and Its Casualties, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Corporate Coup d'etat

The movement of capital in the form of manufacturing jobs and cash out of the United States to foreign countries, primarily to Asia, has lowered the quality of life for all blue collar workers and dimed the future prospects for college students in the United States. It is rapidly closing the door to economic opportunity for black people in particular.

New trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR between at least 20 nations and the United States within the last 20 years have resulted in the loss of millions of jobs to foreign nations because U.S. blue collar workers cannot compete with workers from countries willing to work for .60 cents per hour.

Now, another trade agreement called the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement or TPP threatens to usher in not only the loss of even more blue collar jobs, but even more highly skilled white collar professional and engineering jobs as well by outsourcing to Asian nations.

Urban history in the 20th and 21st centuries is replete with patterns of economic destabilization. Let me give to you an example of what the relocation of blue collar jobs has done to black workers who were dependent upon manufacturing jobs in one particular city.

Corporate coup d'etat 2

Let’s look at the city of Oakland, California between 1950 to the present. It can serve as a microcosm of what is happening and will happen to United States workers in general and to black people in particular.

In the 1940s through the 1970s, Oakland was a highly concentrated industrial city. To give you an example I will name some companies which were situated in close proximity to one another between 81St, 98th, and 105th Avenues in Oakland in the 1960s. First, there was Peter Paul Almond Joy Candy Company, 2) Sunshine Biscuit Company, 3) Mother’s Cookies Company, 3) Pepsi Cola Company, 4) Laura Scuuders Potato Chip Company, 5) Gerber’s Baby Food Company, 6) Granny Goose Potato Chip Company, 7) Nabisco Company, 8) General Mills Company, and 9) General Motors Company. These companies were central to the very robust Oakland economy. They provided not only jobs and stabilized families but they also provided a strong tax base for the city.

Each of those companies ran 3 shifts or 24 hour daily work shifts except Saturdays and Sundays. They employed thousands of unionized workers. The money from those companies not only flowed in the form of family income but also filtered down to Oakland public schools and recreational facilities for children. Those were just a handful of companies in the city of Oakland at that time. There were hundreds more like them each of which added value to a dynamic city economy. However, company location policies began to change in the 1970s.

Each of those companies slowly pulled out of Oakland over a span of 20 years. The industrial companies pulled out after over 100,000 white people fled Oakland between 1950 and 1960 in response to the influx of Black people. White flight cost the city of Oakland its middle and upper middle class tax base.

The military bases also slowly pulled out of Oakland after the end of the Vietnam War. The closure of military bases also cost the city of Oakland millions of dollars in annual revenue. Black people had been attracted to those jobs and had migrated from the southern States to Oakland seeking to economically benefit from factory and civilian military jobs in the city of Oakland. But in scarcely 25 years or one generation the original intent of black people and the economic hope which motivated them faded before their very eyes.

During that time period and up to 1975, the city of Oakland reached its peak economically. But the pattern then was as clear as it is today. The owners of private industry then did not want to give jobs to, work with, nor be around black people any less than today.

The economic effect on black people and Latinos because of the loss of such a high concentration of blue collar and civilian military jobs is correlated with the disintegration of public quality of life because of a: 1.  shrinking tax base and the looting of public school budgets by some public school administrators in the city during and after the exodus of capital, 2.) an increase in black and Latino incarceration rates due to get tough on crime policies in the 1970s and the proliferation of narcotics, methamphetamine, and cocaine, 3.) an increase in AFDC and Food Stamp dependence which now stands at over 47 million Americans, 4.) The implosion of middle class shopping centers which is evidence of shrinking middle class incomes. That is best exemplified by the Eastmont Mall in East Oakland which was opened in 1970, 5.) a phenomenal increase in single parent female headed household far above that of two parent households after 1970, and 6.) a disproportionate rise in the black abortion rate after 1975.

Take what I have described and apply it to your city. Whether you are in Compton, Detroit, Baltimore, or Pittsburg you will see the same pattern; a loss of manufacturing jobs and a steep decline in the quality of life for most people and in particular for black people living there. Black people are always the first to lose economic footing.

Now we are confronted with a new economic challenge. It is called TPP or the Tran Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement. Its predecessor, NAFTA, became law in 1994. NAFTA has resulted in the loss of millions of jobs across the United States. It was signed into law by then democratic president Clinton. TPP will cost Americans more jobs lost to Asian nations and a loss of Federal legal jurisdiction over multinational corporations. Under TPP, foriegn corporations would be given the status of ‘legal citizen’ of the United States and thus have the right to sue U.S. citizens and governments if a law interfers with their profits. Another democratic president, Obama, wants to sign TPP into law. The TPP agreement has a covert purpose; it is designed to serve a particular purpose.

The TPP agreement like NAFTA will only increase the power and wealth of multinational corporations over us and to further diminish the leverage of unionized labor. It will also reduce our individual and collective political leverage as voters. But even more is in store for us if TPP is signed into law.

As Asian purchasing and consumption power increases, U.S. citizens will have correspondingly less economic and political leverage against the global multi-corporate power structure. That is so because over time multi-corporate revenue streams will become less and less dependent upon U.S. consumers. That is what “race to the bottom” means.

For example, in Detroit, public contracts were given to companies connected with corrupt politicians. As a consequence water costs increased in the city of Detroit after the city signed contracts with companies giving them the power to manipulate the price for water. That in turn has lead to water cutoffs to the poor in the city of Detroit.

Another example is California. In California, under Pete Wilson and Gray Davis, public energy controls were modified under the Electric Utility Industry Restructuring Act, 1996.  In 2000, Companies like Enron were then able to increase the price for energy by manipulating the price of energy thereby causing energy bills to triple overnight. The shortage of energy caused rolling energy black outs throughout the State to begin in 2001. . In both cases, elderly low income people on fixed incomes and low income persons suffered the most.

Running parallel to the TPP effort is the slow but steady privatization of local, state, and federal government. Right now it is best exemplified by the privatization of public schools and public utilities. For example, students attending public universities are more dependent on commercial bank loans because of Government cutbacks in grants such as the Pell Grant. Such cuts have resulted in a national student loan debt of over 1 trillion dollars. It is not that private corporations want to own the infrastructure of state universities. Rather, they prefer to allow taxpayers to pay the costs for maintaining university infrastructures; what they want to own, by loan contracts, are the students.

Here is why. Corporate and financial globalization has made those same institutions less dependent upon educated American professionals as is the case with blue collar and professional workers because they have a global pool of educated professionals to draw from and at a cheaper cost to them.

American college graduates must now compete with an international population for professional jobs in the United States. Thus, there is no longer a national and private sector need for large numbers of American students to fill job positions, and so University systems need not cater to students who are financially unable to pay for their education. All of these efforts turn on a single unstated premise: the private sector can do it more efficiently and cheaper than government.

The argument by the proponents of that premise is that since government has a 17 trillion dollar deficit, privatization will help reduce costs for running government. But that argument is not necessarily true. Take the postal service for example. The costs for postal services have been increasing under public control and it will increase under private control at an even faster rate. Furthermore, government will continue to run on a deficit for two basic reasons. First, a federal deficit will remain because the national tax revenue to the federal government will decrease as income levels decrease and secondly, because public debt is the only way to justify an increase in the national debt ceiling which in turn triggers federal loans from the Federal Reserve Bank which generates profits for private banks.

So, keep an eye on what happens to the U.S. Postal Service; it is the canary in the coal mine. Thousands of black people hold operative jobs for the U.S. Post Office. If the U.S. Postal Service is privatized, then thousands of black Americans will lose their operative jobs due to robotic technology. Operative jobs are one of the leading fields of employment for black people. People and their families dependent on those kinds of jobs will sink into a state of perpetual poverty. Black life will become even more sub-standard than it is now.

Statistically for instance, 72% of black people with college degrees are employed by a form of government and generally about 21% of all black workers are employed in local, state, and federal governments. If governmental departments are contracted out to private companies at the local, state, and federal levels, then black people will be the major economic losers.

Black Americans and their families will sink into perpetual poverty. Black life will become even more sub-standard than it is now. On the other hand, white youth with college degrees will get hired in the private sector. That is how corporate government plans to co-opt lower class but college educated white people with the aim to neutralize any movement toward unity of poor whites and blacks.

The closure of military bases in the 1980s and 1990s is yet another example of how the exodus of capital, in this case government capital, adversely affected black people. Such base closures ought to be a red flag on the field for all of us to see. In the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area, thousands of black people and their families were the major losers when the Army and Navy bases closed.  That is because the Federal Government was the single largest employer of black people in the San Francisco-Oakland bay area. Many of those military installations were moved to other states so that jobs could be given to college educated white people after they were taken from under educated black workers.

Now, at this moment in our history, we should know that it doesn’t matter whether the president of the United States is Democrat or Republican; whether the president is white, black, male or female. Race and political party do not matter at the highest offices of government because the government which rules is multi-corporate and fascist in nature; it is not a democratic republic.