Looking for the source of the current financial crisis? It came from Jekyll Island…

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.” Teddy Roosevelt, 1906

On the cold Hoboken evening of November 22, 1910, Frank Vanderlip glanced warily at the group of news reporters milling around at the other end of the train platform and darted quickly on board a private railway car parked on a dark siding. The opulently furnished and well-staffed car, its curtains tightly drawn against prying public eyes, belonged to Senator Nelson Aldrich (R-Rhode Island), the presiding ‘whip’ of the Senate, father-in-law of John D. Rockefeller Jr., and a business partner of J.P. Morgan. The two arch rivals were joining forces for their own nefarious common interests.

Known as ‘the Wall Street Senator,’ Aldrich was head of the National Monetary Commission created the year before by President Theodore Roosevelt in response to the Morgan-manipulated bank Panic of 1907. According to Congressman Charles Lindberg Sr. (father of the future pilot): “The Money Trust caused the 1907 panic…[T]hose not favorable to the Money Trust could be squeezed out of business and the people frightened into demanding changes in the banking and currency laws which the Money Trust would frame.”

Vanderlip, the president of Rockefeller’s powerful National City Bank of New York – now Citybank – had been summoned with other luminaries like the heads of Morgan’s Bankers Trust Company, the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, and Paul Warburg of Rothchild’s main U.S. bank, Kuhn-Loeb, to a secret meeting to be held far from the public eye on an island off the Georgia coast. Called Jekyll Island, it was owned by J.P. Morgan, who had equipped it as a plush ‘hunting lodge.’

Vanderlip would later write: “We were instructed to come one at a time and as unobtrusively as possible to the railroad terminal…where Senator Aldrich’s private car would be in readiness… Discovery, we knew, simply must not happen… If it were to be exposed publicly that our particular group had written a banking bill, that bill would have no chance whatever of passage by Congress….”

Six years later, a financial writer named Bertie Charles Forbes (who later founded Forbes Magazine) wrote:

"Picture a party of the nation’s greatest bankers stealing out of New York on a private railroad car under cover of darkness, stealthily hieing hundreds of miles South, embarking on a mysterious launch, sneaking onto an island deserted by all but a few servants, living there a full week under such rigid secrecy that the names of not one of them was once mentioned lest the servants learn the identity and disclose to the world this strangest, most secret expedition in the history of American finance. I am not romancing; I am giving to the world, for the first time, the real story of how the famous Aldrich currency report, the foundation of our new currency system, was written.... The utmost secrecy was enjoined upon all. The public must not glean a hint of what was to be done. Senator Aldrich notified each one to go quietly into a private car of which the railroad had received orders to draw up on an unfrequented platform…. New York’s ubiquitous reporters had been foiled . . . Nelson (Aldrich) had confided to Henry, Frank, Paul and Piatt that he was to keep them locked up at Jekyll Island, out of the rest of the world, until they had evolved and compiled a scientific currency system for the United States, the real birth of the present Federal Reserve System, the plan done on Jekyll Island in the conference with Paul, Frank and Henry…. " (quoted in The Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustice Mullins)

Long story short - three years after the meeting, on December 22, 1913, the legislation designed in secret by the Jekyll Islanders was moved through a stacked Congressional Conference Committee meeting held between 1:30 and 4:30 AM. With most members of Congress already gone home for the Christmas holidays, and those who remained having no time to read the text, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was passed in a skeleton vote and President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law the next day.

Why the secrecy and the Congressional end run? Because the entity established by the bill, the Federal Reserve, is neither ‘federal,’ nor does it have any ‘reserve.’ It is a private, for profit monopoly designed to serve its owners interests, even – and especially, as in the current ‘meltdown’ - when those are totally antithetical to the public interest.

As Ellen Brown, author of the excellent “Web of Debt; The Shocking Truth About Our Money System And How We Can Break Free” describes it:

The ‘Federal’ Reserve is actually an independent, privately-owned corporation. It consists of twelve regional Federal Reserve banks owned by many commercial member banks. The amount of Federal Reserve stock held by each member bank is proportional to its size. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York holds the majority of shares in the federal Reserve System (53 percent). The largest shareholders of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York are the largest commercial banks in the district of New York.

In arguable violation of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives the Congress the sole and - according to a 1935 ruling by the Supreme Court - the un-delegatable power to ‘coin’ money, the Federal Reserve Act delegates to the Fed the authority to create money out of thin air and lend it to the U.S. government at interest, thus immediately saddling American taxpayers with an essentially un- repayable debt.

So, as former Wall Street banker (Goldman Sachs), now Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson serves as the meat puppet for string-puller Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in announcing the biggest bailouts of private bankers with public funds in the history of finance, it may be useful to remember the conclusion Woodrow Wilson came to at the end of his life. He reportedly said of his signing the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, ‘I have unwittingly ruined my country.’

The solution? We need to do what both assassinated presidents Lincoln and Kennedy tried unsuccessfully to do: take back from the private bankers the Constitutionally granted power of the government to create money, thus canceling the un-repayable debt and making control of the money supply a matter of public, not private, interest. Until that happens the debacle of ‘Wall Street Socialism’ will only get worse. But my guess is that neither the McCain nor Obama campaigns will ever dare mention the five-hundred-pound Wall Street Fox – ‘the Creature from Jekyll Island’ - licking his fat chops in the corner of America’s financial henhouse.

For more on the Fed and how it works: Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System And How We Can Break Free by Ellen Hodgson Brown, Web of Debt and Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country by William Greider, and The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin, Jekyll video, The Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins and Dirty Secrets of the Temple - by Stephen Lendman, Dirty Secrets of the Temple.

James Heddle is a documentary filmmaker based in California. His e- mail: Jim@eon3.net.