By Andile Mngxitama
“Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who makes the laws.” – Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild International Banking Dynasty
Almost two months ago I had decided to join the MMM self-help scheme on a trial basis and promised to provide written feedback within the first month. I have not been able to do so within the stated period for various reasons. However I am now in a position to present the results of my “experiment”.
Let’s rehash the reasons why I joined the scheme. Firstly, I don’t gamble and I don’t get involved in schemes that promise anything good. I have been in Johannesburg long enough to know that anything that is too good to be true is probably not any good at all. But, i’m anti-establishment and anyone who is taking on the banks, government and politicians is my friend. I was recruited to MMM by the banks of South Africa. I saw the many full-page advertisements they were running “warning” us all about the “MMM ponzi scheme”. Now I know banks have never done anything good for me so if they are at war with something then it must be good. If the banks hadn’t run a massive campaign against MMM I wouldn’t have bothered. But if MMM was a menace to the banks, then from where I’m standing it must be my friend.
I read as widely as possible on the scheme, including about its founder the maverick, Sergey Mavrodi. I instantly liked him for being anti-establishment and somewhat of a maths genius. I marveled at his battle with the Russian political and financial elites.
How they vilified and criminalized him – but the more dirt they piled on him, the clearer his battle against the money system became. This increased his credibility in my estimation. The people who rob us are not the people who look like Mavrodi. The people who rob the poor of the world are the ones in tailor-made suits, designer ties and imported shoes. The people who live from sucking the blood of the poor are the well-spoken, well-educated managers of the global financial systems – the bank managers, lawyers and politicians.
If the banks led me to MMM, it was the eccentric Mavrodi who won my sympathy. It was for me a case of “vagabond to vagabond”. But what really convinced me to make a small donation was the “ideology” of MMM. I read it carefully many times, and realized that MMM is essentially against the whole capitalist system driven by the banking mafia. The scheme is about ending the cruel blood sucking banking system. I was worried at the beginning that many of the participants were attracted more to the 30% returns than to the ideological perspective of MMM. This was a weakness I picked up. If one is into MMM not for its anti capitalist ideology but for the possibility of making money, then we are back to the same problem of mainstream ideology. People start “investing” instead of “helping”.
Once I was satisfied about the ideology, I took the practical position that if one was involved in a self-help scheme then one does not give help more than one would ordinarily do. I figured that if I had R100 and I was hard pressed to give someone help, let’s say to a hobo, then I’m most likely to give that person not more than R10. I will keep the R90 for my needs. If you were investing on the other hand you are more likely to put in R90 and keep R10 for yourself. The danger there is clear!
Should anything happen with the scheme you would be financially hurt. This was more so possible given the fact that three powerful evil forces had joined forces against MMM – the banks, government and the media.
I had joined the scheme at the height of the onslaught against it by the evil triad of banks, government and the media. The fight against MMM had to be ideological and psychological because there was nothing in law that made it illegal. There was no one who had claimed to have been robbed. There were no complainants. But the banks were bleeding because people had been increasingly unplugging from the credit slavery run by banks. Banks such as Capitec make money from the low end of the market who are enslaved through loans that can never be repaid. But that’s how the banks make their money and MMM was threatening the goose that laid the golden eggs. The banks knows one simple truth – no financial system can survive the day if there was panic. So the psychological warfare against MMM was to instigate a panic. If all the participants were to call for help at the same time the scheme would collapse. This is true for every bank. The banks do not have the money to pay all their depositors at the same time. Should we all go to the banks tomorrow and demand our money the banks would collapse. Why? Because the banks take my money and give to you and charge you ridiculous interest whilst giving me next to nothing. MMM turns this logic around and gives those in the scheme the kinds of returns which would be enjoyed by the banks and that’s where the whole thing goes wrong from the bankers’ point of view.
So I was satisfied that the ideology of MMM was sufficiently anti-establishment. I liked very much the fact that the scheme used the banks to fight the banks. Secondly, I understood that because the scheme was under attack from the three evil forces it meant it was vulnerable. But I also understood that if more people joined on the basis of countering the banks, government and media then confidence could be restored and the scheme could continue much longer. One of the things I did was to do my own research. I visited a MMM office in Orlando (Soweto). There I was told that since the banks and media onslaught on MMM there has been a marked decrease in new participants joining. I was told further that because of the volume of requests being received for help, an unusual situation has developed where it was taking a little longer than usual to pay out the requests for help. I wanted to know if the office had observed a situation where those who asked for help had been denied. I was assured that at that stage this was not the case.
It was patent to me that I was joining at a time when the scheme was taking serious knocks from the banks and media. The government too was hovering about with bogus claims of an investigation. The media was on a hard sell, pushing the narrative of the imminent collapse of the scheme. I don’t know how many reports of the collapse of MMM I have seen. The point was always to create momentum for a panic. Towards the end of the first thirty days I logged in to check my “mavros” and was met by a note which in part read:
“Unfortunately, the persecution against MMM organized by the mass media has provoked a panic. We have been working in South Africa for almost 2 years and we have millions of members. During all that time, we had no complaints and accusations from the participants and everything was paid to everyone in time and in full amount, by 30% per month. We held charity events and helped children. We did a lot of useful things for people! Well, who was suffering from this?”.
I was not surprised at all. Then came the punchline: “All the current (“old”) mavros are frozen. Any operations with them are impossible”.
My mavros had been frozen and were now part of the “old” mavros. There is a process to pay back old mavros within 6 months. The banks seem to have been able to put some breaks into the MMM juggernaut. The scheme was not killed but mortally wounded. To try to finish it off, Capitec decided to illegally close down 2000 accounts of clients who were linked to MMM. They triumphantly declared their action and got the media to run with it. The banks, government and media have precipitated a panic and are now turning around and saying “see, we told you so”.
The emphasis now is that a new round of fresh offers for help should stream in and build a new momentum which would also assist in paying off the old mavros. This is off course the right response. There is a measure of stubbornness needed. This is not a dinner party, this is a battle. As a commitment to confidence-building, upon receiving the news of the frozen mavros I in fact immediately offered to provide a new help. If you follow my logic, then you would understand that “helping’ doesn’t harm me because I only offer help equivalent to what I would help any stranger with.
I do not at the same time castigate those who put large sums of money – the returned help is as big and the risk of loss even bigger. The simple truth is that MMM is upfront about the possibilities of help not being returned. Why? Because all people who understand how capitalism works and know that such schemes are part of a war, must expect the enemy to strike back. If one understands that this is war then one must expect any eventuality. What is clear from the MMM experience is that we need to actively cultivate alternative means of self-empowerment and self-help.
MMM has taught many, myself included, how the financial system works and how evil it is. We know better now that money is made from nothing and furthermore, that banks use Peter to rob Ben. We have become more aware of how banks and auditing firms are running a racket. Take the African Bank – it has lost more than R2 billion of black people’s money. But the media and government say nothing about this. In fact, in 2008 when the global banking system collapsed, the bankers took their profits and government took public money and used it to prop up the same rotten banking system. Millions lost their savings and homes. The bail-out was for bankers, not for the people. This exposes the lie that investing with the traditional financial system is safe. People lose money all the time with no prospect of getting anything back. The media is silent about the biggest ponzi scheme called the Johanessburg Stock Exchange (JSE). This ponzi scheme lost, in some instances, more than 33% of the pension schemes of workers and government employees last year. Imagine reaching retirement with 33% of your savings being lost. But there is no media outcry because the same people who own the JSE, own the Banks.
People know that banks rob us. This explains partly why people are prepared to take their chances with such schemes as MMM.
The immediate ideological battle is to firstly make sure that Capitec unfreezes the accounts it has illegally shut down. Secondly, it’s to put back in small amounts of help on a sustainable basis. But even better, it’s to seek and develop new self-help schemes on the same ideological basis as MMM. We need to hit the banks on all sides. We have to collapse the current financial system. Many people who are educated by universities, which in turn are owned by the same bankers, share the ideology of the capitalist banking system and therefore instinctively defend the status quo. It’s interesting to see how they miss the fact that the banks themselves make money out of nothing. Banks just manage the circulation of our money and do a little bit of printing of paper. The example used by Mavrodi of how from a mere R10 one can make up to R200 in thin air, is lost to our accountants and financial “experts” who help the banks to rob the people. They also can’t understand where the 30% help comes from regarding MMM, in the same way they don’t question how the bank can charge me 24% interest when I borrow from it, but gives me 7% when I “invest” my money with it. They don’t understand a simple thing that the bank takes Pule’s money and lends it to Thabo on massive interest. This ignorance is learnt. A basic understanding of the banking system would show that banks don’t make money out of investments – they make money out of money from thin air. In other words, banks make money by lending the money that we deposit to others.
A liberal scholar like Irving Fisher, the author of “100% Money”, knows what our accountants and financial experts don’t know. He explains how banks make their money in simple terms:
“If two parties, instead of being a bank and an individual, were an individual and an individual, they could not inflate the circulating medium by a loan transaction, for the simple reason that the lender could not lend what he didn’t have, as banks can do. Only commercial banks and trust companies can lend money that they manufacture by lending it.”
MMM has changed this logic around and makes the money circulate amongst the people and not be taken by the banks. This is why the banks have to freeze the accounts and run massive panic campaigns against the MMM scheme. The media has yet to tell us how much money the banks spent on the disinformation campaign against MMM. Few people know that in fact the banks don’t want us to pay off our debts. Banks make money out of debt slavery. This point was long ago identified by the American industrialist Henry Ford who said that “(t)he one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debts.” The banks need you indebted to them. MMM breaks the chains of debt slavery and that is the main cause of their unhappiness. One of the most shocking things is to listen to the so-called consumer council people. They are so clueless, its heart breaking. They think banks are good for the people.
Those of us who participate in schemes like MMM must know that we are at war with the most dangerous evil force on earth which has captured the minds and souls of our people. We need to work hard to unplug our people from the system. The most important aspect of this battle is financial education for the masses. Our people need to know what the banks are and how they operate to rob us and how governments and the media protect them. Our people need to understand more how the Reserve Bank of South Africa (SARB) is not a government institution. It is actually privately owned and controls our money system through the whole banking system. To win this battle we need education and agitation, but most of all we need to find ways of collective money making as a mechanism of getting out of the money plantation.
Ultimately, only an anti-capitalist revolution would end the whole evil system, but between then and now we must make hell for the capitalist bankers, the media and government.
Historically, a few bankers have surprisingly told us that they make their money out of robbing the people. Sir Josiah Stamp, who was the President of the Bank of England during the 1920’s and the second richest person in Britain, put it like this:
“Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin. Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and, with the flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again. Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. But, if you want to continue to be the slave of the bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let the bankers continue to create money and control credit.”
Closing note: Even after the bank accounts have been frozen and MMM has “collapsed”, the affected people have not laid complaints with the ombudsman about the scheme. This means that they have understood the risk (and embraced the ideology) behind MMM. There is no doubt that MMM will be back – with similar forms of self-help coexisting because people understand better now that the money system is a swindle. Interestingly, the older black women who take part in schemes like these often call it a game. They refer to these schemes as “ukudlala imali” because they understand the sham that is “banking / saving and investing”. Yes, MMM is going to recover, and many like schemes will emerge. This is war, if you are not ready for it you will not understand.