You are guilty.
Born of royal lineage sometime in the 10th century, Gero was granted the title Count of Alsleben by blood. But even his high stature in society couldn’t save him from the most dire of allegations.
In the year 979, Gero was accused before Emperor Otto II of a crime by a Saxon warrior, a man whose name is only recorded as Waldo. Despite there being no proof of a crime apart from another man's word, Gero was immediately seized and imprisoned.
The crime itself has been lost to history, as has the full identity of the warrior who blamed Gero for committing it. But what is known is the accusation was so grave in nature, that a trial by combat was warranted to settle it. A trial that in the beliefs of the time, would be settled by jūdicium Deī; a “judgement of God”. The belief was that the divine would use his all-knowing nature to ensure the death of the guilty party.
So it was that on the 11th of August 979, Gero met Waldo at a predetermined location to carry out the duel. A duel that would not end until one of the combatants laid dead.
Upon the commencement of the contest, Gero immediately seized the upper hand, landing two strikes to Waldo’s neck with his blade. Injured but not defeated, Waldo countered with a heavy blow to his opponent’s head—one that didn’t kill Gero, but that dizzied him to the point he was nearly unable to continue the fight.
Thinking he’d won, Waldo acted as if the battle was over. However, after disarming himself and attempting to leave the arena, he swiftly collapsed, dying from the wounds Gero had inflicted upon his neck.
Gero was the last man standing. He had survived and won. However, any relief he may have experienced in his moment of victory was destined to be short-lived.
Dissatisfied with the outcome of the contest, and seeming to defy the judgement of his own God, Emperor Otto declared Gero to be guilty nonetheless. Upon the Emperor’s order, Gero’s head would be taken at sunset that very evening by the blade of an executioner, as payment for his apparent crimes.
Again, the only evidence against Gero that he’d committed a crime was someone else’s word. Yet he was still required to prove otherwise in order to not be judged.
Assumed guilty from the very first moment. Guilty until proven innocent. And even when his innocence was demonstrated, guilty all the same.
Thankfully, we no longer live in a society where guilt is not the assumed natural state of a person. And that we all have the luxury of being considered innocent of a crime, until the point there is some evidence to the contrary.
But does that luxury really exist? And if it does, will it be going away soon?
Sigrid Kaag serves as the co-chair of the Global Action Group at the World Economic Forum; an organisation I believe at the very least is problematic to our personal freedoms. But outside her role moonlighting for an unelected elitist group, Kaag’s normal day job is serving as the Dutch minister for finance.
On October 21st, Kaag’s government submitted a new set of proposed laws to Dutch parliament. The bill is designed to help combat global money laundering, and would require that all banks in the Netherlands be forced to track and keep records of any transactions above €100; a much lower amount than the current sum of €10,000.
And there’s more; because this €100 limit only applies to consumers, who are either paying each other, or buying from a small business. If a transaction in any way involves a company, even if it’s less than €100, that transaction would be required to be recorded as well.
The thing is, the vast majority of people in Dutch society are not criminals, and do the right thing on a daily basis. But despite this fact, their government will likely soon be placing the assumption of potential guilt over their heads, resulting in the logging of all but the most minor of personal payments in a database for future reference.
Across the Atlantic, there are similar dark stirrings of laws that mirror what is being proposed in the Netherlands.
Only a few days ago, Joe Biden’s government recently proposed new legislation that would require banks to immediately report all financial transactions over $600 to the IRS, as well as monitor all personal bank accounts—something that right now is only isolated to businesses. Echoing current Dutch laws, the barrier for this reporting as it stands today is $10,000 USD.
Thomas Hoenig—the former president of the Kansas Fed—suggested this monitoring of US citizens’ finances would be a “massive search without a search warrant”. But in defending the proposal, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen brushed aside these fears, calling the “routine” collection of data “…just a few pieces of information about individual bank accounts.”
This begs the question: if this information is so insignificant that we simply shouldn’t worry about it, why does Yellen’s government want it in the first place?
This leads me back to the organisation that seems to follow the “govern me harder, daddy!” mentality more than any other: the World Economic Forum. Via multiple articles on its own website, the WEF has spoken in detail about its belief that governments implementing highly-traceable digital currencies of their own, linked with a centralised digital identity, would only be a good thing for our world. That it would help foster “inclusion” and “equity”; the two buzzwords it parrots more than all others.
Regardless of how this financial oversight is framed, to me it just sounds like new ways to spy on the personal actions of individuals. The net is closing around us all of us.
But I can already hear the supporters of these moves shouting “But if you’re not doing anything wrong, you shouldn’t have anything to fear!”
That’s not the point.
The point is I don’t want my government to know about the hypothetical scenario in which I decide to go on a spicy shopping spree one weekend and purchase a large rubber fist and an industrial volume of lubricant to use in my own private activities.
The point is that no bureaucrat, banker, or database should have the ability to scrutinise the way I use my own money on a daily basis. Money that I’ve earned through my own toil, by giving up a part of the finite trickle of time I’ve been granted in this life.
And the point is that unlike someone being put through a trial by combat to test their innocence, I believe we have the right to live in a society where we’re all given the benefit of the doubt that most of us are good, law-abiding citizens. People who most of the time, do the right thing.
In simple terms, the default setting shouldn’t be to treat a person as if they’re a common criminal. But it seems that’s the way our elected (and sometimes unelected) masters want to treat us.
A technological panopticon is currently being built that will most likely end up watching over every action we take in our daily lives. As we’ve already seen, governments will always use the mantra that it’s being done for the “safety and security” of society. But in reality—whether intentionally or not—what they’re really doing is creating a suite of tools that will become a powerful electronic prison with the ability to control entire nations.
Whoever inevitably wields these digital weapons will almost certainly use them to control our habits, our buying choices, and to socially engineer the actions of billions of human beings. And most likely, this will be achieved by dominating our monetary system, and implementing laws that will see us all as potential criminals, just ones that maybe haven’t done anything wrong yet.
All of us will just be assumed from the get-go to be potential lawbreakers, resulting in our governments watching over our every move. This is something even Gero didn’t have to worry about—he at least needed an accuser to be treated like a criminal.
We are not guilty. Even though that’s the way we’re more frequently being treated.
One side of the coin is that we’re all expected to accurately report our assets, finances, and financial dealings at tax time. The other side of the coin—the one they’re pushing for—is that your government should have access to this information by default.
If that comes to pass, what’s next? Access to all your emails, calls and messages because you could be using them to organise criminal activities? Or how about access to all cameras and microphones within your home, just in case you’re breaking laws behind closed doors? I’m sure you wouldn’t find it okay if your government suggested these invasive actions, so why is it okay when it comes to our money?
Here’s the short answer: it isn’t.
If we allow this overreach when it comes to our finances, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to rationalise this kind of surveillance over other aspects of our lives. Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.
Awareness of these matters is key. At the very least, I would encourage you to share newsletters like this, or news stories of current proposals in the Netherlands and the United States with others whenever you read them.
Financial privacy is our right. Don’t let that right be taken.
» TIJANA’S STORY
Tijana is one of our students, and used to be somewhat of a “normie”. Normal job, tied to her home country, with standard prospects. You know the drill. However, after signing up for our course and membership The Codex & The Order, things have since changed drastically.
She acquired a second passport, opening up additional options for freedom of movement and new places she can call home. She left Canada to explore the world and began working on the road, living a sovereign life as a free individual. And in her words, she’s feeling more free and in control than ever.
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Stack and prep. Repeat. It looks as if financial serfdom is planned for us by our leaders, who despite being elected by us act as if they had a mandate from God. Bullets, beans, bandages and bullion. "Stag-flation" even worse than the 70's is coming. Take what preparations you can. Pay off your mortgage, get rid of that expensive automobile that you may never manage to own. Simplify your life so that you need less of the things that will be scarce and pricey.
Very timely and beautifully written piece.
Adding in my own less prosaic words I’d collectively muse thus: Store loyalty cards, NPR data from car parks, CCTV, inter-agency data, atm cameras, phone location data. I could like many go on. Perhaps the crucial point here is that either consciously or otherwise we’re sharing a colossal amount of data with god knows who. Judgement of God indeed. You can however bet your bottom dollar that this data set is being harvested, shared, examined and algorithmed to hell.
Some of the algorithm-induced profiling in the US is widely known about and provides a salutary example of what can happen when the copious amounts and types of data we create are misused to devastating effect.
Habeas corpus is a fundamental right that we should vigorously defend and not allow to be taken away by either overt design or covert intent.