1st February 2016
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
This is the story of how the oil-igarchy is on the verge of monopolizing life itself.
Oil. From farm to pharmaceutical, diesel truck to dinner plate, pipeline to plastic product, it is impossible to think of an area of our modern-day lives that is not affected by the petrochemical industry. The story of oil is the story of the modern world.
Parts of that story are well-known: Rockefeller and Standard Oil; the internal combustion engine and the transformation of global transport; the House of Saud and the oil wars in the Middle East. Other parts are more obscure: the quest for oil and the outbreak of World War I; the petrochemical interests behind modern medicine; the Big Oil money behind the “Green Revolution” and the “Gene Revolution.”
But that story, properly told, begins somewhere unexpected. Not in Pennsylvania with the first commercial drilling operation and the first oil boom, but in the rural backwoods of early 19th century New York state. And it doesn’t start with crude oil or its derivatives, but a different product altogether: snake oil.
“Dr. Bill Livingston, Celebrated Cancer Specialist” was the very image of the travelling snake oil salesman. He was neither a doctor, nor a cancer specialist; his real name was not even Livingston. More to the point, the “Rock Oil” tonic he pawned was a useless mixture of laxative and petroleum and had no effect whatsoever on the cancer of the poor townsfolk he conned into buying it.
He lived the life of a vagabond, always on the run from the last group of people he had fooled, engaged in ever more outrageous deceptions to make sure that the past wouldn’t catch up with him. He abandoned his first wife and their six children to start a bigamous marriage in Canada at the same time as he fathered two more children by a third woman. He adopted the name “Livingston” after he was indicted for raping a girl in Cayuga in 1849.
When he wasn’t running away from them or disappearing for years at a time, he would teach his children the tricks of his treacherous trade. He once bragged of his parenting technique: “I cheat my boys every chance I get. I want to make ’em sharp.”
A towering man of over six feet and with natural good looks that he used to his advantage, he went by “Big Bill.” Others, less generously, called him “Devil Bill.” But his real name was William Avery Rockefeller, and it was his son, John D. Rockefeller, who would go on to found the Standard Oil monopoly and become the world’s first billionaire.
The world we live in today is the world created in “Devil” Bill’s image. It’s a world founded on treachery, deceit, and the naivety of a public that has never wised up to the parlor tricks that the Rockefellers and their ilk have been using to shape the world for the past century and a half.
This is the story of the oil-igarchy.
(This article is a transcript from the documentary, How Big Oil Conquered The World.)
Titusville, 1857. A most unlikely man alights from a railway car into the midst of this sleepy Western Pennsylvania town on the shores of Oil Creek: “Colonel” Edwin Drake. He’s from the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company, and he’s here on a mission: to collect oil.
Like “Dr.” Bill, Drake isn’t really a Colonel. The title is bestowed on him by George Bissell and James Townsend, a lawyer and a banker who started the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company after they discovered they could distill the region’s naturally occurring Seneca oil into lamp oil, or kerosene. Drake is actually an unemployed railroad conductor who talked himself into a job after staying at the same hotel as Bissel the year before. Calling him a Colonel, it is hoped, will help win the respect of the locals.
The locals think he’s crazy anyway. Seneca oil is indeed plentiful, bubbling out of seeps and collecting in the creek, but other than as a cure-all medicine or grease for the local sawmill’s machinery, it’s hardly seen as something valuable. In fact, it can be a downright nuisance, contaminating brine wells that supply Pittsburgh’s booming salt industry.
Still, Drake has a task to complete: finding a way to collect enough oil to make the distillation of Seneca oil into lamp oil profitable. He tries everything he can think of. The Native Americans had historically collected the oil by damming the creek near a seep and skimming the oil off the top. But Drake can only collect six to ten gallons of oil a day this way, even when he opens up extra seeps. He tries digging a shaft, but the groundwater floods in too quickly.
By the summer of 1859 he’s desperate. Drake’s running out of ideas, Bissell and Townsend are running out of patience and, most importantly, the company is running out of funds. He turns to “Uncle” Billy Smith, a Pittsburgh blacksmith who had experience drilling brine wells with steam-powered equipment. They get to work drilling down through the shale bedrock to reach the oil. It’s maddeningly slow work, with the crude equipment struggling to get through three feet of bedrock a day. By August 27th they’ve drilled down 69 and a half feet, Drake has used the last of his funds, and Bissell and his partners have decided to close up the operation.
Then on Sunday, August 28th, 1859, oil bubbled up the drive pipe. Uncle Billy and his son Sam bailed out several buckets of oil. On Monday, the very day that Colonel Drake received his final payment and an order to close down the operation, they hitched the walking beam to a water pump and the oil began to flow. The first oil was to sell for $40 a barrel. Years later a local newspaper interviewed Uncle Billy about the day they struck oil:
“I commenced drilling and at 4:00 I struck the oil. I says to Mr. Drake, ‘Look there! What do you think of this?’ He looked down the pipe and said, ‘What’s that?’ And I said, ‘That is your fortune!’”
Drake’s well proved that by drilling for it, oil could be found in abundance and produced cheaply. Overnight a whole new industry was born. Before long in millions of homes, farms and factories around the world, lamps would be lit with kerosene refined from West Pennsylvania crude.
“When the word came out that Drake had struck oil, the cry went up throughout the narrow valleys of Western Pennsylvania: ‘The crazy Yankee has struck oil! The crazy Yankee has struck oil!’ And it was the first great boom. It was like a gold rush.” ~ Daniel Yergin [Source: The Prize (Part 1)]
Overnight the quiet farming backwoods of rural Pennsylvania was transformed into a bustling oil region, with prospectors leasing up flats, towns springing up from nowhere, and a forest of percussion rigs covering the land. The first oil boom had arrived.
Already poised to make the most of this boom was a young up-and-coming bookkeeper in Cleveland with a head for numbers: John Davison Rockefeller. He had two ambitions in life: to make $100,000 and to live to 100 years old. John D. set off to make his fortune in the late 1850s, armed with a $1000 loan from his father, “Devil” Bill.
Grandfather never finished high school and went to Cleveland having borrowed $1000 from his father to start a business — paid 9% interest on it incidentally. And he read about the oil business just beginning and got interested, and came to realize it was a very volatile business at the time.” ~ David Rockefeller [Source: The Prize (Part 1)]
In 1863, seeing the oil boom and sensing the profits to be made in the fledgling business, Rockefeller formed a partnership with fellow businessman Maurice B. Clark and Samuel Andrews, a chemist who had built an oil refinery but knew little about the business of getting his product to market. In 1865 the shrewd John D. bought out his partners for $72,500 and, with Andrews as partner, launched Rockefeller & Andrews. By 1870, after five years of strategic partnerships and mergers, Rockefeller had incorporated Standard Oil.
The story of the rise of Standard Oil is an oft-told one.
In a move that would transform the American economy, Rockefeller set out to replace a world of independent oilmen with a giant company controlled by him. In 1870, begging bankers for more loans, he formed Standard Oil of Ohio. The next year, he quietly put what he called “our plan” — his campaign to dominate the volatile oil industry — into devastating effect. Rockefeller knew that the refiner with the lowest transportation cost could bring rivals to their knees. He entered into a secret alliance with the railroads called the South Improvement Company. In exchange for large, regular shipments, Rockefeller and his allies secured transport rates far lower than those of their bewildered competitors.
Ida Tarbell, the daughter of an oil man, later remembered how men like her father struggled to make sense of events: “An uneasy rumor began running up and down the Oil Regions,” she wrote. “Freight rates were going up. … Moreover … all members of the South Improvement Company — a company unheard of until now — were exempt. … Nobody waited to find out his neighbor’s opinion. On every lip there was but one word and that was ‘conspiracy.’”
“By 1879, when Rockefeller is 40, he controls 90 percent of the oil refining in the world. Within a few years, he will control 90 percent of the marketing of oil and a third of all of the oil wells. So this very young man controls what is not only a national but an international monopoly in a commodity that is about to become the most important strategic commodity in the world economy.” ~ Ron Chernow, Biographer [Source: The Rockefellers]
By the 1880s, the American oil industry was the Standard Oil Company. And Standard Oil was John D. Rockefeller. But it wasn’t long until a handful of similarly ambitious (and well-connected) families began to emulate the Standard Oil success story in other parts of the globe.
One such competitor emerged from the Caucasus in the 1870s, where Imperial Russia had opened up the vast Caspian Sea oil deposits to private development. Two families quickly combined forces to take advantage of the opportunity: the Nobels, led by Ludwig Nobel and including his dynamite-inventing prize-creating brother Alfred, and the French branch of the infamous Rothschild banking dynasty, led by Alphonse Rothschild.
In 1891, the Rothschilds contracted with M. Samuel & Co., a Far East shipping company headquartered in London and run by Marcus Samuel, to do what had never been done before: ship their Nobel-supplied Caspian oil through the Suez Canal to East Asian markets. The project was immense; it involved not only sophisticated engineering to construct the first oil tankers to be approved by the Suez Canal Company, but the strictest secrecy. If word of the endeavour was to get back to Rockefeller through his international intelligence network it would risk bringing the wrath of Standard Oil, which could afford to cut rates and squeeze them out of the market. In the end they succeeded, and the first bulk tanker, the Murex, sailed through the Suez Canal in 1892 en route to Thailand.
In 1897 “M. Samuel & Co.” became The Shell Transport and Trading Company. Realizing that reliance on the Rothschild/Nobel Caspian oil left the company vulnerable to supply shocks, Shell began to look to the Far East for other sources of oil. In Borneo they ran up against Royal Dutch Petroleum, established in The Hague in 1890 with the support of King William III of the Netherlands to develop oil deposits in the Dutch East Indies. The two companies, fearing competition from Standard Oil, merged in 1903 into the Asiatic Petroleum Company, jointly owned with the French Rothschilds, and in 1907 become Royal Dutch Shell.
Another global competitor to the Standard Oil throne emerged in Iran at the turn of the 20th century. In 1901 millionaire socialite William Knox D’arcy negotiated an incredible concession with the king of Persia: exclusive rights to prospect for oil throughout most of the country for 60 years. After 7 years of fruitless search, D’Arcy and his Glasgow based partner, Burmah Oil, were ready to abandon the country altogether. In early May of 1908 they sent a telegram to their geologist telling him to dismiss his staff, dismantle his equipment and come back home. He defied the order and weeks later struck oil.
Burmah Oil promptly spun off the Anglo-Persian Oil Company to oversee production of Persian oil. The British government took 51% majority control of the company’s shares in 1914 at the behest of Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, and survives today as BP.
The Rothschilds and Nobels. The Dutch royal family. The Rockefellers. These early titans of the oil industry and their corporate shells pioneered a new model for amassing and expanding fortunes hitherto unheard of. They were the scions of a new oligarchy, one built around oil and its control, from wellhead to pump.
But it was not just about money. The monopolization of this, the key energy resource of the 20th century, helped secure the oiligarchs not just wealth but power over the lives of billions. Billions who came to depend on black gold for the provision of just about every aspect of their daily lives.
In the late 19th century, however, it was by no means certain that oil would become the key resource of the 20th century. As cheap illumination from the newly-commercialized light bulb began to destroy the market for lamp oil, the oiligarchs were on the verge of losing the value from their monopoly. But a series of “lucky strikes” was about to catapult their fortunes even further.
The very next year after the commercial introduction of the light bulb, another invention came along to save the oil industry: German engineer Karl Benz patented a reliable, two-stroke internal combustion engine. The engine ran on gasoline, another petroleum byproduct, and became the basis for the Benz Motorwagen that, in 1888, became the first commercially available automobile in history. And with that stroke of luck, the business that Rockefeller and the other oiligarchs had spent decades consolidating was saved.
But more luck was needed to ensure the market for this new engine. In the early days of the automobile era it was by no means certain that gas-powered cars would come to dominate the market. Working models of electric vehicles had been around since the 1830s, and the first electric car was built in 1884. By 1897 there was a fleet of all-electric taxis shuttling passengers around London. The world land speed record was set by an electric car in 1898. By the dawn of the 20th century electric cars accounted for 28% of the automobiles in the United States. The electrics had advantages over the internal combustion engine: they required no gear shifting or hand cranking, and had none of the vibration, smell, or noise associated with gasoline-powered cars.
Lady Luck intervened again on January 10, 1901, when prospectors struck oil at Spindletop in East Texas. The gusher blew 100,000 barrels a day and set off the next great oil boom, providing cheap, plentiful oil to the American market and driving down gas prices. It wasn’t long before the expensive, low range electric engines were abandoned altogether and big, loud, gas-guzzling engines came to dominate the road, all fueled by the black gold that Standard Oil, Shell, Gulf, Texaco, Anglo-Persian and the other oil majors of the time were drilling, refining and selling.
Perhaps John D.’s greatest stroke of luck, however, was not supposed to be luck at all. Rockefeller had come under increasing scrutiny by a public outraged by the unprecedented wealth he had amassed through Standard Oil. Muckraking reporters like Ida Tarbell began digging up the dirt on his rise to power through railroad conspiracies, secret deals with competitors and other shady practices. The press pictured him as a colossus with bribed politicians literally in the palm of his hand; Standard Oil was a menacing octopus with its tentacles strangling the lifeblood of the nation. Hearings began, investigations were launched, lawsuits were brought against him. And then, finally, in 1911 the Supreme Court made a monumental decision.
On May 15th, 1911, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that Standard Oil was a monopoly in restraint of trade and should be dissolved. Rockefeller heard of the decision while golfing at Kykuit with a priest from the local Catholic church, Father J.P. Lennon.
And Rockefeller reacted with amazing aplomb. He turned to the Catholic priest and said, “Father Lennon, have you some money?” And the priest was very startled by the question and said, “No.” And then he said, “Why?” And Rockefeller replied, “Buy Standard Oil.” ~ Ron Chernow, Biographer
As Rockefeller foresaw, the individual Standard Oil companies were worth more than the single corporation. In the next few years, their shares doubled and tripled in value. By the time the rain of cash was over, Rockefeller had the greatest personal fortune in history — nearly two percent of the American economy.
“And it was really losing the antitrust case that converted John D. Rockefeller into history’s first billionaire. So that Standard Oil was punished in the federal antitrust case, but John D. Rockefeller, Sr. most assuredly was not.” ~ Ron Chernow, Biographer [Source: The Rockefellers]
To the amazement of the world, Rockefeller’s punishment had in fact been his reward. Rather than being taken down a peg, the splitting up of the Standard Oil monopoly had launched him as the world’s only acknowledged billionaire at a time when the average annual income in America was $520.
Rockefeller’s story was perfectly mirrored by the story of Colonel Edwin Drake. Having struck oil in Titusville and given rise to a billion dollar global industry, Drake had not had the foresight to patent his drilling technique or even to buy up the land around his own well. He ended up in poverty, relying on an annuity from the state of Pennsylvania to scrape together a living and dying in 1880.
For the oiligarchy, the lesson of the rise and rise of Rockefeller was obvious: the more ruthlessly that monopoly was pursued, the tighter that control was grasped, the greater the lust for power and money, the greater the reward would be in the end.
From now on, no invention would derail the oil majors from their quest for total control. No competition would be tolerated. No threat to the oiligarchs would be allowed to rise.
“Accordingly, I have directed the Secretary of the Treasury to take the action necessary to defend the dollar against the speculators. I have directed SecretaryConnally to suspend temporarily the convertability of the dollar into gold or other reserve assets except in amounts and conditions determined to be in the interest of monetary stability and in the best interest of the United States.” ~ Richard Nixon [Source: Nixon Ends Bretton Woods]
As leaked documents from the 1973 Bilderberg meeting show, the oiligarchs decided to use their control over the flow of oil to save the American hegemon. Acknowleding that OPEC “could completely disorganize and undermine the world monetary system,” the Bilderberg attendees prepared for “an energy crisis or an increase in energy costs,” which, they predicted, could mean an oil price between $10 and $12, a staggering 400% increase from the current price of $3.01 per barrel.
Five months later, Bilderberg attendee and Rockefeller protege Henry Kissinger, acting as Nixon’s Secretary of State, engineered the Yom Kippur War and provoked OPEC’s response: an oil embargo of the US and other nations that had supported Israel. On October 16, 1973, OPEC raised oil prices by 70%. At their December meeting, the Shah of Iran demanded and received a further price raise to $11.65 a barrel, or 400% of oil’s pre-crisis price. When asked by Saudi King Faisal’s personal emissary why he had demanded such a bold price increase, he replied: “Tell your King, if he wants the answer to this question, he should go to Washington and ask Henry Kissinger.”
In the second move of the operation, Kissinger helped negotiate a deal with Saudi Arabia: in exchange for US arms and military protection, the Saudis would price all their future oil sales in dollars and recycle those dollars through treasury purchases via Wall Street banks. The deal was a bonanza for the oiligarchs; not only did they get to pass the price increases on to the consumers, but they benefited from the huge flows of money into their own banks. The Shah of Iran parked the National Iranian Oil Company’s revenues in Rockefeller’s own Chase Bank, revenues that reached $14 billion per year in the wake of the oil crisis.
With the creation of this new system, the “petrodollar”, the oiligarchs had reached unprecedented levels of control over the economy. Not only that, they had backed the world monetary system with their commodity, oil, and brought potential competition from upstart producer nations under their control all in one step.
But for the insatiable appetites of these monopolist titans, mere control over the world’s monetary system was not enough…
In the nineteenth century, railroad conspiracies and predatory pricing had been enough to assure the oiligarchs’ monopoly. But by the time that the British crown, the Dutch royal family, the Rothschilds and the other European oiligarchs began opening up the Middle East and the Far East to oil exploration in the early twentieth century, the goal was no longer to maximize profits or control the oil industry. It was not even to control international diplomacy. It was to control and shape the world itself. Its resources. Its environment. And its people.
In order to achieve this goal, the oiligarchy would need a facelift.
In the current age, with the Rockefeller name now more likely to be associated with Rockefeller Plaza or Rockefeller University than Standard Oil, it is difficult to understand just how hated John D. was in his own day. He was the head of the Standard Oil Hydra, an octopus strangling the world in his tentacles, a cutthroat gardener pruning the competitors from the flower of his oil monopoly. As one of the richest men the world had ever known, he was an easy target for the average working man’s frustrations and a magnet for the poor seeking help.
“He received on average 50 to 60,000 letters a month, asking for help. Dozens of people followed him in the street. Literally, crowds stood around the Standard Oil offices waiting for him to come out. Little children, painfully thin, crying in the street and so on. Rockefeller felt overwhelmed.” ~ Judith Sealander, Historian [Source: The Rockefellers]
Besieged by the downtrodden, despised by the working man, hounded by Ida Tarbell and the muckraking press, John D. had the mother of all PR problems. The answer was simple: invent the PR industry. He hired Ivy Ledbetter Lee, a journalist-turned-communications expert who invented the modern public relations industry to burnish the Rockefellers’ tarnished image. An early master of public relations, Lee used the media which the muckrakers had used to disgrace Rockefeller to turn him into a sympathetic figure. Ivy Lee recognized early the power of the new moving picture and used newsreels to show a remarkably benevolent Rockefeller. It was Lee that suggested giving the family name to Rockefeller Center and filming John D. handing out dimes in public. And, as Ivy Lee began to control his public image, Rockefeller became oddly a kind of American character, and people kind of warmed to him in a bizarre sort of way.
These PR stunts seem obvious and ham-handed by today’s standards, but they were effective enough: to this day people leave dimes on the stone marker at the base of the 70 foot Egyptian obelisk that towers over John D.’s final resting place in Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery. But it was not stage-managed photo opportunities like these that transformed Rockefeller into a public hero.
In order to win the public over, he was going to have to give them what they wanted. And what they wanted wasn’t difficult to understand: money. But just as his father, Devil Bill, had taught him to do in all his business dealings, Rockefeller made sure to get the better end of the bargain. He would “donate” his great wealth to the creation of public institutions, but those institutions would be used to bend society to his will.
As every would-be ruler throughout history has realized, society has to be transformed from the ground up. Americans in the 19th century still prized education and intellectual pursuits, with the 1840 census finding unsurprisingly that the United States–a nation that had been mobilized by tracts like Thomas Paine’s remarkably popular Common Sense–was a nation of readers, with a remarkable 93% to 100% literacy rate. Before the first compulsory schooling laws in Massachusetts in 1852, education was private and decentralized, and as a result classical education, including study of Greek and Latin and a solid grounding in history and science, was widespread.
But a nation of individuals who could think for themselves was anathema to the monopolists. The oiligarchs needed a mass of obedient workers, an entire class of people whose intellect was developed just enough to prepare them for lives of drudgery in a factory. Into the midst stepped John D. Rockefeller with his first great act of public charity: the establishment of the University of Chicago.
He was aided in this task by Frederick Taylor Gates, a Baptist minister that Rockefeller befriended in 1889 and who would go on to be John D.’s most trusted philanthropic adviser. Gates would go on to write a short tract, “The Country School of Tomorrow,” that laid out the Rockefeller plan for education:
“In our dream, we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or science. We are not to raise up from among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians. Nor will we cherish even the humbler ambition to raise up from among them lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we now have ample supply.”
Although Rockefeller’s resources weren’t exactly limitless, they might as well have been. In 1902 he established the General Education Board to help implement Gates’ vision for the country school of tomorrow with a staggering $180 million endowment.
The Rockefeller influence on education was felt almost immediately, and it was amplified by help from fellow monopolists of the era who were approaching the topic of philanthropy from the same angle.
Although best known as a steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie’s fortune started on the railroads transporting Rockefeller’s Standard Oil around the country, and was greatly magnified by a lucrative investment in property near Oil Creek that provided steady, profitable oil sales. In 1905 he established the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a tax-free foundation through which Carnegie and his appointees could direct the development of the education system in the the United States, and, eventually, worldwide. In 1910, Rockefeller followed suit by establishing the Rockefeller Foundation, which became the tax-free umbrella organization for his philanthropic ambitions.
As the Reece Committee–a Congressional investigation into the activities of these tax-free foundations in the 1950s–discovered, it wasn’t long before Carnegie’s Endowment approached Rockefeller’s Foundation with a proposal: to cooperate on their shared desire to transform the American education system in their own image. Norman Dodd, the director of research for the Congressional committee who was granted access to the Carnegie Endowment’s board minutes, explains:
So they approach the Rockefeller Foundation with a suggestion: that portion of education which could be considered domestic should be handled by the Rockefeller Foundation, and that portion which is international should be handled by the Endowment.
They then decide that the key to the success of these two operations lay in the alteration of the teaching of American History. So, they approach four of the then most prominent teachers of American History in the country — people like Charles and Mary Byrd. Their suggestion to them is this, “Will they alter the manner in which they present their subject”” And, they get turned down, flatly.
So, they then decide that it is necessary for them to do as they say, i.e. “build our own stable of historians.” Then, they approach the Guggenheim Foundation, which specializes in fellowships, and say “When we find young men in the process of studying for doctorates in the field of American History, and we feel that they are the right caliber, will you grant them fellowships on our say so? And the answer is, “Yes.”
So, under that condition, eventually they assemble twenty (20), and they take these twenty potential teachers of American History to London. There, they are briefed in what is expected of them — when, as, and if they secure appointments in keeping with the doctorates they will have earned.
That group of twenty historians ultimately becomes the nucleus of the American Historical Association. And then, toward the end of the 1920’s, the Endowment grants to the American Historical Association four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000) for a study of our history in a manner which points to what this country look forward to, in the future. That culminates in a seven-volume study, the last volume of which is, of course, in essence, a summary of the contents of the other six. The essence of the last volume is this: the future of this country belongs to collectivism, administered with characteristic American efficiency. [Source: Norman Dodd interview.]
With this base for transformation firmly established, the Rockefeller Foundation and like-minded organization embarked on a program so ambitious that it almost defies comprehension. They transformed the practice of medicine.
As usual, the oiligarchs that funded this change were also there to profit from it, and once again John D. took his queue from “Devil” Bill’s example. William Rockefeller had called his brand of snake oil “Nujol,” for “new oil,” and Standard Oil spun off “Nujol” as a laxative under their Stanco subsidiary. Manufactured on the same premises as “Flit,” an insecticide also derived from Standard Oil’s byproducts, “Nujol” sold at the druggist for 28 cents per six ounce bottle; it cost Standard Oil less than one-fifth of a cent to manufacture. Pharmaceuticals provided a lucrative new opportunity for the oiligarchs, but in a turn-of-the-century America that was still largely based on naturopathic, herbal remedies, it was a tough sell. The oiligarchy went to work changing that.
In 1901 John D. established the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. The Institute recruited Simon Flexner, a pathology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, to serve as its director. His brother, Abraham, was an educator who was contracted by the Carnegie Foundation to write a report on the state of the American medical education system. His study, The Flexner Report, along with the hundreds of millions of dollars that the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations were to shower on medical research in the coming years, resulted in a sweeping overhaul of the American medical system. Naturopathic and homeopathic medicine, medical care focused on un-patentable, uncontrollable natural remedies and cures was now dismissed as quackery; only drug-based allopathic medicine requiring expensive medical procedures and lengthy hospital stays was to be taken seriously.
The fortunes of Carnegie, Morgan and Rockefeller financed surgery, radiation and synthetic drugs. They were to become the economic foundations of the new medical economy.
“The takeover of the medical industry was accomplished by the takeover of the medical schools. Well, the people that we’re talking about, Rockefeller and Carnegie in particular, came to the picture and said ‘We will put up money.’ They offered tremendous amounts of money to the schools that would agree to cooperate with them. The donors said to the schools: ‘We’re giving you all this money, now would it be too much to ask if we could put some of our people on your Board of Directors to see that our money is being spent wisely?’ Almost overnight all of the major universities received large grants from these sources and also accepted one, two or three of these people that I mentioned on their Board of Directors and the schools literally were taken over by the financial interests that put up the money.
“Now what happened as a result of that is the schools did receive an infusion of money, they were able to build new buildings, they were able to add expensive equipment to their laboratories, they were able to hire top-notch teachers, but at the same time as doing that they schewed the whole thing in the direction of pharmaceutical drugs. That was the efficiency in philanthropy.
“The doctors from that point forward in history would be taught pharmaceutical drugs. All of the great teaching institutions in America were captured by the pharmaceutical interests in this fashion, and it’s amazing how little money it really took to do it.” ~ G. Edward Griffin [Source: The Money Takeover Of Medicine.]
The oiligarchy birthed entire medical industries from their own research centers and then sold their own products from their own petrochemical companies as the “cure.” It was Frank Howard, a Standard Oil of New Jersey executive, who would go on to persuade Alfred Sloan and Charles Kettering to donate their fortunes to the cancer center that would then bear their name. As director of research at Sloan-Kettering, Howard appointed Cornelius Rhoads, a Rockefeller Institute pathologist, to develop his wartime research on mustard gas for the US Army into a new cancer therapy. Under Rhoads’ leadership, nearly the entire program and staff of the Chemical Warfare Service were reformed into the SKI drug development program, where they worked on converting mustard gas into chemotherapy. And once again, the Rockefeller’s own snake oil was being sold as a cancer cure-all.
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The oiligarchs’ interest in the burgeoning pharmaceutical industry converged in companies like I.G. Farben, a drug and chemical cartel formed in Germany in the early 20th century. Royal Dutch’s Prince Bernhard served on an I.G. Farben subsidiary’s board in the 1930s and the cartel’s American operation, set up in cooperation with Standard Oil, included on its board Standard Oil president Walter Teagle as well as Paul Warburg of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., itself headed by Jacob Schiff of the Rothschild broker family. At its height, I.G. Farben was the largest chemical company in the world and the fourth largest industrial concern in the world, right behind Standard Oil of New Jersey.
The company was broken up after World War II, but like Standard Oil, its various pieces remained intact and today BASF, one of its chemical offshoots, remains the largest chemical company in the world, while Bayer and Sanofi, two of its pharmaceutical offshoots are among the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Not content merely to monopolize the fields of education and medicine, the same oiligarchical interests banded together to take control of America’s finances. In 1910 John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s own father-in-law, Senator Nelson Aldrich, Frank Vanderlip of the National City Bank, and Paul Warburg, as well as various agents of J.P. Morgan, met in complete secrecy on Jekyll Island to hammer out the details of what would go on to become the Federal Reserve, America’s central bank. The Fed, established in 1913, would be run by hand-picked appointees of the oiligarchy and their banking associates, including, perhaps inevitably, Standard Oil president and American I.G. director Walter Teagle.
The Rockefeller family would go on to formally enter the banking field in the 1950s when James Stillman Rockefeller, the grandson of John D.’s brother, was appointed director of National City Bank. Meanwhile John D.’s own grandson, David Rockefeller, would go on to take over Chase Manhattan Bank, the long-time banking partner of the Standard Oil empire.
In this move the Rockefellers’ story perfectly mirrored that of their fellow oiligarchs the Rothschilds. Whereas the Rothschilds had supplemented their banking fortune with their oil interests, the Rockefellers supplemented their oil fortune with banking interests.
Springboarding from success to success as they consolidated monopolies across every field of human activity, the oiligarchs’ ambitions became even larger. This time, their goal was to consolidate control over the very food supply of the world itself, and once again they would use philanthropy as the cover for their business takeover.
The Green Revolution began in 1943 when plant geneticist Norman Borlaug and a team of researchers arrived on Mexican soil. His goal was to improve agricultural techniques and biotechnological methodologies which in turn would help alleviate starvation and improve the living quality of developing nations. Creating new genetically modified strains of wheat, rich, maize and other crops, Borlaug planned to win the battle against world hunger. The hope was that these new crops and farming techniques would rescue third world countries from the brink of starvation.
That’s exactly what happened. The agricultural innovations brought to the poverty-stricken countries gave the farmers the skills and resources necessary to sustain themselves. This triggered a chain of events that would allow these once-struggling nations to survive. Agricultural exports soared in quantity and diversity and allowed the countries to become self-sufficient.
As the genetically modified crops thrived, farmers were able to use their increased income to purchase newer and superior farming machinery. This increase in revenue made farming easier, more reliable and more efficient. The Green Revolution led to the modernization of agriculture and has had a profound social, economic and political impact on the world. The Mexican government turned to the Rockefeller Foundation in their endeavour to nourish Mexico through agriculture. [Source: Green Revolution Waging War Against Hunger.]
Norman Borlaug, needless to say, was a researcher for the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Green Revolution, for whatever increase in yields it brought about, also created markets for the oiligarchs’ own interest in the petrochemical fertilizer industry and gave rise to the “ABCD” seed cartel of Archer Daniels Midand, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus. These companies, along with their associated interests in the food packaging and processing industry, formed the core of American “agribusiness,” a concept developed at Harvard Business School in the 1950s with the help of research conducted by Wassily Leontief for the Rockefeller Foundation.
The American agribusiness giants shared a common goal: the transformation of third world agriculture into a captive market for their goods. From this perspective, the project was a runaway success. By the 1970s the Rockefeller Standard Oil network and its cronies in the nitrogen fertilizer industry (including DuPont, Dow Chemical, and Hercules Powder) had broken into markets around the world, markets conveniently forced open for them by the US government itself under President Johnson’s “Food for Peace” program, which mandated the use of petrochemical-dependent agricultural technologies (fertilizers, tractors, irrigation, etc.) by aid recipients.
Unable to afford these new technologies themselves, the impoverished third-world “beneficiaries” of this “revolution” relied on loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank handled by Rockefeller’s own Chase Manhattan Bank and guaranteed by the US government.
The real costs of the Green Revolution, economic, agricultural and environmental are seldom tallied. Access to these debt-financed petrochemical-dependent technologies exacerbated the difference between the rich landowning class and the landless peasants in countries like India, where land reform and abolition of usury were dropped from the political agenda after the Green Revolution took over.
Even then, the revolution’s main success, its increase in agricultural yields, has been oversold. Yield growth across India actually slowed after the introduction of agribusiness. The environmental destruction is even more devastating. An overview in the December 2000 edition of Current Science notes: “The gree n revolution has not only increased productivity, but it has also [produced] several negative ecological consequences such as depletion of lands, decline in soil fertility, soil salinization, soil erosion, deterioration of environment, health hazards, poor sustainability of agricultural lands and degradation of biodiversity. Indiscriminate use of pesticides, irrigation and imbalanced fertilization has threatened sustainability.”
The Rockefeller Foundation even acknowledges the critiques of the Green Revolution it funded into existence, insisting that “current initiatives take into account lessons learned.” Even so, the Foundation continues to fund research and write reports on how to improve prospects for agribusiness investment in its target markets.
As egregious as the Green Revolution was and continues to be, however, in many ways it was just the prelude to an even more ambitious project: the Gene Revolution. Now the project is not merely to monopolize the technologies, supplies and chemical inputs for agriculture worldwide, but to monopolize the food supply itself through the replacement of the world’s natural seeds with patentable genetically modified crops.
The players involved in this “Gene Revolution” are almost identical to the players in the Green Revolution, with I.G. Farben offshoots Bayer CropScience and BASF PlantScience mingling with traditional oiligarch associate companies like Dow AgroScience, DuPont Biotechnology, and, of course, Monsanto, all funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and fellow “philanthropists” at the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and like-minded organizations.
The convergence of corporate, “philanthropic,” governmental and inter-governmental interests in promoting GM crops around the world can be seen in the bewildering array of research institutes, industry associations, and “consultative groups” devoted to the case. The Rockefeller-funded International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Rockefeller/Monsanto/USAID brainchildInternational Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), the Rockefeller/Ford/World Bank created Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and dozens of other bland, benign-sounding organizations research and promote GM crops in target markets around the globe, with the profits ending up in the oiligarchs’ coffers.
A representative example of this story is the agribusiness neocolonization of Argentina, where Monsanto ran an elaborate “bait-and-switch” to get the country hooked on its genetically modified Roundup Ready soybeans before demanding royalties on the crops that were by then already growing. DuPont then took over, magnanimously beginning a “Protein for Life” programme to foist their own GM soybeans on the country’s poor.
The same scene has played itself out in country after country, where cartel-developed GM crops are foisted on emerging economies through “food aid,” usually during times of famine when those countries are especially vulnerable. Only a handful of countries like Zambia or Angola have outright rejected this GMO takeover of their food supply, generously subsidized by the US government to the benefit of the agribusiness cartel.
From cut-throat pioneers of the early oil industry to Machiavellian social engineers and geopolitics schemers, the oiligarchs have come a long way since the days of Devil Bill’s snake oil cure-alls. But his use of every form of deception and trickery to swindle the public informed how John D. and the rest of the oiligarchs built up their business interests.
As the 20th century drew to a close, it was obvious that for the powerful cartel that built the oil industry – the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the British and Dutch royal families – it was no longer about oil, if it ever really was. The takeover of education, of medicine, of the monetary system, of the food supply itself, showed that the aim was much greater than a mere oil monopoly: it was the quest to monopolize all aspects of life. To erect the perfect system of control over every aspect of society, every sector from which any threat of competition to their power could emerge.
They had been remarkably, almost unbelievably, successful. From oil well to gas pump, farm to fork, hospital to pharmaceutical, drill rig to dollar bill, there was almost no aspect of society that was not under control.
But the oiligarchs are not done yet. Their next project, launched in the late 20th century, is almost too ambitious to be comprehended. It is not about oil. It is not about money. It is about the monopolization of life itself. They have spent decades preparing the path for this takeover and marshalled their mind-boggling resources in service of the task.
And the vast majority of the world’s population, still playing the shell game that the oiligarchs perfected and abandoned long ago, are about to fall right into their hands yet again.
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Watching our environment ... our health ... and corporations ... exposing lies and corruption
" - Wyśmiewani za niemodny patriotyzm, wierni Bogu i Ojczyźnie podnieśliśmy głowy."
TO PORTAL NA KTÓRYM CODZIENNIE ZNAJDZIESZ PONAD 100 INFORMACJI INFO NIUS W TYM MATERIAŁY CENZUROWANE LUB ZABRONIONE NA INNYCH PORTALACH POPRAWNYCH POOLITYCZNIE
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