Thursday, July 21, 2011

Operation Bank Bust

I have an important announcement, so I'm departing from my usual blogginess to cut-and-paste and publish this Facebook post about a Bank Bust action like I've been wanting to start.  I'm glad to see I don't have to: somebody else already has the ball rolling.  Please spread the word:


Operation Bank Bust

Time: Saturday, November 5 · 8:00am - 9:00pm
Location:  Everywhere
Created by:  Nightingale Jones
This Operation is from The Plan!

On November 5th, 2011, people are encouraged to remove their funds from their bank, close any accounts and throw away credit cards (cut them up first) in order to promote personal independence from the banking system. We encourage people to purchase a heavy safe that can be bolted down to secure their money or place it into a trusted, local credit union.

This is an ONGOING Operation! It's never too late or too early to reclaim your fiscal independence!

El 5 de noviembre de 2011, la gente se anima a sacar sus fondos de su banco, cerrar todas las cuentas y tirar las tarjetas de crédito (se cortan primero) con el fin de promover la autonomía personal en el sistema bancario. Animamos a la gente a comprar un seguro pesados que pueden ser atornillados para asegurar su dinero o el lugar en una de confianza, unión de crédito local.

Se trata de una operación en curso! Nunca es demasiado tarde o demasiado temprano para recuperar su independencia fiscal!


My Zero-Cents-Worth Comment

If we're activists protesting various evils in the world, our activism is of little use if we keep feeding the root of the problem: banks (and also if we give our business to the banks' bedfellows, big corporations).  It's pretty simple: if we give banks and corporations our business, we are the banks and we are the corporations and all our protesting against them is totally absurd.  Get out of the helpless victim mentality and know that we the common people are the power of the "people in power"!  If you don't like the monster, stop feeding it!  Take responsibility! 

My purist moneyless self would like to see everybody walk away from all money, but my practical self says, if you use money, please do not use banks, unless you want to feed world poverty, war, environmental destruction, and mental duress. At the very least, please put your money in a local credit union instead.  

In case you have doubts about participating in this Bank Bust, or aren't clear about the nature of banks and banking, please see the clear and simple video below I keep pushing, "Money As Debt".  You may also want to check out the essays in my website on the nature of money: What Money Is and What Money Is Not and Is Banking Criminal?  What The World's Ancient Philosophers & Religions Say

Still in the Northwest
On my usual blogger note, I'm still in Portland, Oregon.  I plan to spend the next week or so on a pack trip on the Olympic Peninsula with a new friend, maybe two.  That means I'll be out of cyber contact for a while


  1. On the KPFA radio show "Guns and Butter," Michael Hudson spoke of finance as modern warfare. It's was a good listen on the topic of money as servitude.

  2. Sorry I will not sound very encouraging but a boycott has been tryed last year in the UK we heard it on the news from Cantona a french footballer, but we didn't hear anything after that. The problem is that the government has force all the money transition to be done through the banks, like topping up the meagre income that most of us are force to live with and depend on. But of course it's good to minimise our dependency. On the other hand I don't think the banks will care a iote, they will write down more money as debt and pass the bill to us taxpayers again, some thousand billions more we wouldn't even notice :D

  3. It's a good first step and a necessary one if we intend to move toward a world based on close-knit communities, trust, sharing, and respect.

  4. Ana, isn't this exactly what banks want you to believe? Isn't negativity a self-fulfilling prophecy proving itself true? If we can't live without banks, without falsehood, all our spiritual platitudes are do-nothing lies and banks are God and we hopeless slaves of mammon and the world without hope. Do we have faith that if we follow truth, everything will fall into place. Make your decision that you'd rather starve or be ostracized than serve falsehood, and see if Magic happens. If we can't follow truth, why bother living? Isn't there an infinite universe bigger than our petty banks?

  5. But we could live with money and without banks, couldn't we?
    If we follow truth everything will fall into place not doubt, but is it to live moneyless the truth?. Perhaps realising that money could be the abstraction of greed, so I wouldn't delude myself that the problem will be over once money get eliminated, maybe it will only allow us to see more clearly of the problems behind it, people talk about bartering differ from money? I don't see much the difference either. I think in the ideal world everybody should take what they need and nothing more. Equality, sharing and moderation should be the main tenents in school education, but school today represent all what its wrong with our competitive consumeristic society, and stinks really.

    The reason I support moneyless is because the way money is today it's totally corrupted, devaluation is a con.

    Respect drop it all and follow my path, sorry I have to admit I haven't got the courage, I probably should've to abandon my family because none of them will want to follow me, :D can you see the problem families face? My family live with the fear if we could get a woodburner, will never hear of the central heating again. I support the idea of moneyless but I wouldn't be the first to go moneyless cold turkey for obvious reasons, but we are in a gradual/partial process: trying to grow some of the food, spending money only in the essentials food, bills, education etc. Most of our clothes, utensils and furniture have alway got them free (plenty of waste around), and if it's not essential we learn to go without.

    Couldn't moneyless be seen as an aversion to money? If money shouldn't be one of the more important issues in our live (I personally think it shouldn't), should moneyless be?

    Yes it's true I'm negative when I cannot see the solutions and it's fustrating. But I always suspect of people being too optimistic, they are too superficial or not facing reality. To improve think you have to be able to see the problems otherwise how are you going to solve them? Are buddhist negative when they say that life is suffering?

  6. The point of the above blog post is not telling people to give up money, but to stop using banks, stop participating with corruption, which is totally possible. If you use money, use it honestly. As I say often, I don't have an aversion to money, nor do I believe it evil, simply an illusion. To have an aversion to illusion is to consider illusion reality.

    By negativity, I don't mean the natural positive-negative of the universe of joy and pain that is always with us, I mean faithlessness: convincing ourselves that it's impossible to live in truth.

  7. I tend to support anyone who is following something from their convictions, even if those actions do not result in "practical" world changing events. For example, people that are environmentally conscious do things like recycle, buy second hand, and compost food. Yet, their small actions are nothing in comparison to the massive amounts of CO2 that others are putting into the atmosphere. It could be easily said their small actions don't make a difference, but I still support their desire to offer a model for how we *could* be better. Once those actions gather momentum they do tend to have more influence on governments, but still we get the overall feelings that it's too little, too late.

    As far as the banks. I tend not to see them as the enemy, but rather I just see the human tendency to be greedy as the enemy. Corporation and co-op alike can be greedy. Greed comes in many levels and wears many cloaks, so to me attacking the banks in this way is sort of like attacking some branches of an overbearing evil tree. The greed tree. Even if those branches are some of the main supporting branches, and even if you put a few good scratches, it seems to me that it's not something I'd want to focus on. Bankers are often overtly greedy, but also there's a lot of hypocritical greed that passes for charity these days. Greed is sleazy, especially when it passes for charity.

    It's sort of like busting up Walmart. We could do that, or bust up McDonald's or Whataburger, or whatever, but there's still someone else next in line ready to step up to the greed plate.

  8. Yes, as individuals we must live justly ourselves as in a just world, not really for the sake of changing the world, but for our own health and happiness, a kind of selfishness. Paradoxically, only then does the world around us change.

    As far as interest banking goes, the very nature of it is deception. Watch the video, read the links, if you have doubts. It's a direct manifestation of human greed. If not participating in corruption is "attacking" corruption, then so be it. If not using meth is "attacking" meth labs, then so be it.

    Other addictions will arise, so maybe I should discourage "attacking" meth labs by not using meth? Why get out of bed since we have to go back to bed anyway?

  9. Suelo, negativity is part of life and it might be there for a reason. Now admit that in my case has worked :)

    Raj. the banks and the whole monetary system is all one, it has to go it's rotten to the core. Very unfortunally but those companies exist because there are high demand for them.

  10. I think most institutions people set up are corrupt, from governments, to banks, to local businesses. I agree that the banking system is corrupt, and the most abusive of all the organizations I can think of, even more so that drug smuggling cartels and terrorist groups. However, again, we can't kill the spirit of greed by taking out it's facade or even by taking out it's two legs. It's like, if we overthrew the banks, it'd be like overthrowing our govenment. Then what? Should we set up a democracy or a fairer means of exchanging goods? Who would be in charge of such a system? After all, most people will still want a some medium of exchanging goods.

    Some systems are better than others, but in the end, they all serve greed and money.

    For me, I'm just choosing to not spend money on my basic necessities (food and shelter), though I still use money for things I think are important, simply because it's more efficient time wise for me to do so than to do a lot of work trade.

  11. It's really hard trying to figure out how to live justly in an unjust world. I've been doing a moneyless, no-driving retreat for more than a month now. I have to cut myself some slack because I just can't figure it out. I take thousands of dollars of medication to keep me alive every month and I thank my wife's insurance for that. Otherwise, I'd be dead.

    I closed my business last year--I couldn't participate in that corruption anymore. I exploited the weak just like anyone in business pretty much has to, lest it's you who gets exploited.

    I will go back to using money at the end of this experiment, though. I've been writing, trying to discover how I feel about it, but I haven't gained any idea about what I should do differently than I have been doing. I can't see attacking industrialized civilization like the primitivists support, but I can't see feeding the system by cooperating with it.

    I don't use banks anymore, just a credit union, and I don't carry balances on my cards. No need to feed the monster. I think the operation is a good idea and I hope as many people as possible participate. What to do otherwise, I'm not sure, for myself or others.

  12. Wow, Bill, amazing story. I agree that's it's hard to be religiously pure with how we deal with the system. I just try to focus on my motivation for why I'm doing something rather than in the motivation of those whom I interface with on a material level (like those people I buy stuff from). It keeps things simple for me as there are so many greys in this issue, it gets so complicated when you start looking at the corruption behind the scenes, and at the end of the day, like you said, all business is corrupt. So, to keep it simple, why do we do what *we* do.

  13. already did it!=)

    this country's deep history battling banks and debt is a clear indicator of the danger of private banks and fiat money. our fore-fathers knew it but the concept is lost now. there is no money! there's the grand deception to our enslavement. we serve the banks, a fictional entity which loses its power when we cease to perceive it.

  14. I see it when I buy things, especially driving through at fast food places. I often see despair in the people who serve me, and I don't think it's because I'm looking for it. It hits me in the face: I'm exploiting this person. Then it's hard not to see this grave dissatisfaction everywhere. Even with the independent contracts you work with--they're desperate for a little "bread".

  15. Raj,

    I think it's healthier to think of your own motivations in interactions with others. I feel like I'm giving up on empathy, though. I've worked those kind of jobs before and I know what it's like. I have seen some cheerful, happy-go-lucky folks in service jobs, but they're a happy exception. Maybe I just bite the bullet and give up on empathy when I go back to cash.

    I don't want to hijack the discussion on Operation Bank Bust!

  16. The way I see it, humankind is just not mature enough to successfully overthrow the banks with an action such as this. The realistic consequence of a widespread movement to simultaneously withdraw money from the banks, will inevitably result in panic. Some will succeed, the majority will not. The banks would very soon close their doors on customers. If they were forced bankrupt, the majority of people that are unable to withdraw money, will also face similar problems.

    I'm not saying that long term things couldn't pan out. Perhaps they could. Perhaps maybe inevitably, but short term there would be chaos. People would want from others what the banks were unable to give them, and the results would not always be nice. There would be a blatant unfairness that many would face that they are suddenly in the middle of a city gone mad, and no readily easy means of escape. especially for those with families to provide for.

    A Revolution such as this, would be bloody and chaotic, and likely lead to military intervention.

    I think the only sensible route is through evolution, not revolution, and much as I am for a world without money, or bartering and accountants, I will not be supporting this action as I see it as a none peaceful path toward harmony. which is most assuredly an oxymoron, (like military intelligence), and doomed to not lead quite where one might envision. (unless of course, all roads really do lead to Rome).

    By writing this, I am not giving my vote to banks, I am very aware of how the system works, and on my own level am doing my best to remove myself from it.


  17. I've closed my bank account some time ago. I went one step further, I left them my debts. ;) Fuck the banks. Don't need a credit Union either, what with having no money to speak of.

  18. I will be in portland next week and it would sure be nice to meet you Daniel .


  19. The world is a forest, or lets say, a human-made tree-farm. It is composed mainly of a very high canopy layer, called Pinus Capitalismia, also known as the Western Pine. This species is so aggressive, so competitive it blocks out all the light below it, keeping the tree-farm in almost darkness.

    On the forest floor are many small seeds, waiting for light to come in to be able to germinate. These are beautiful seeds, and with some light they would create a wonderfully diverse, resilient and abundant eco-system to replace the tree-farm, with life at every layer. But year after year these fantastic small seeds just don't get the light.

    So our approach must be twofold: we must continue to plant beautiful seeds (such as constructing 100% local economies for ourselves which are based on real relationships with each other and the Earth and not notes and coins), but we must also chop down metaphorical trees. Otherwise all of these incredible initiatives that I see being planted every day in the tree-farm floor will just never germinate. That is the reality,

    So if you're wondering what to do with yourself, I'd recommend seed planting or tree-felling - or both.

  20. ps lots of love to you Dan, keep shining, you're an continued inspiration to me :)

  21. I've been in the wilderness & it's interesting to see what's transpired.

    I'm glad for y'all's thoughts.

    Yes, it's 2-fold, as you say, Mark.

    For those naysayers on this "action". Just do what is just, and don't think about what could or should happen. That's faith. Is it an "action" to not use heroin or cocain? There is a whole economy in Columbia based on Cocaine and a whole economy in Afghanistan based on Heroin. Should I worry that my not using those substances would be an "action" that would cause economic chaos, or should I just live justly and have faith.

    Just live justly, and have faith that the consequences will be just. That's all I ask. A good tree can't bear bad fruit. If you question whether banking is just or not, just do a little teeny bit of investigation. That's all I ask.

  22. I liked Mark's illustration of the rain forest. To add a little more to that illustration however, I would say the most common species in our rainforest is Pinus Greedimista, whether capitalistic or what have you. From what I've seen in life, those are also the most dominant seedling. So we can go ahead on this two fold mission, encouraging the little seedlings below, but there are plenty of those seedlings just dying to get to the top. So, when we chop down that tree, there'll just be more in line waiting to take their long desired position.

    I'm just focusing on those seedlings which want to work in harmony, rather than fighting a giant who never dies, even after you chop it down. The harmonic seedlings never die either, but we just need more of us.

    I also connect a lot with Mango's comments.

    I've done my research into the banking system, my conclusion: greedy corruption, as expected. However, because I know most of us are capable of the same, if only we were given the power/money, I rather keep focusing on encouraging the little guys.

  23. Yes, I too like Mark's analogy, as I keep finding myself agreeing with Mark, my shining brother across the sea. If we're not freely giving with a clean heart, cultivating the plants of generosity, all else is futile. On the other hand...

    I think I'm now realizing the title "bank bust" has thrown folks off, because I've been baffled by some responses here, trying to paint this as a "fight" against banks. The point of this blog entry isn't to *fight* crime, but simply not participate with it, in the most Gandhian fashion, not feed it, otherwise the generosity plants have little or no chance of growing. You can't cultivate the good guys and feed the greedmongers, can't serve "God" and "Mammon". The ground must be good if you want your plants to grow. The heart and hands clean and able. Otherwise your good seeds fall on thorny weedy stony shallow ground.

  24. I guess this whole subject brings to my mind: "Is it ok to dismantel the system using the tools of the system?".

    Some would say yes and others no, but I think it's not always black and white.

  25. Hi Suelo, all,

    This is slightly off-topic perhaps, but ...

    A friend referred me to an interesting initiative called the "Agape Order" recently.

    Link: .

    Quote from founder: 'I created The Agape Order because I could find no organization solely and exclusively focused on the single and singular principle of Agape, or "brotherly love"; no organization asserting, and acting upon, the primacy of Agape as the sole organizing principle, on and around which we could base our personal behavior, and the structure and operation of the political, and especially economic, mechanisms, at the core of our societies, as well.'

    I suppose one possible area of contention regards the use of money in a "transition" period. My understanding is that the above author endorses or at least accepts such; on the other hand, they are quite clear that they don't see the use of money as appropriate in the long run.

  26. Bill,
    It is interesting what you said about the workers in fast food windows. I have been going thru drive-thru windows more frequently the last few years and I have been surprised at the authentic smiles and the eyes that do not look burdened by oppression. I really am absolutely amazed by the frequency that I see this.

    I have theories on this: 1) Maybe many customers do not look up at their workers and smile at them. When I do, maybe their day really is brightened. 2) Maybe it is because we live in a small town (less than 20,000 people). Maybe it is easier to be happy here than in a big city. 3) Maybe people who I assumed wouldn't/shouldn't/couldn't be happy really are happy.

    Anyway, my encouragement to you, Bill, is not to give up empathy when you return to money/driving. Smile, tell them they matter. If they are grumpy, ask them about it. You never know the good you might do. I agree with several of the other posts. Maybe money is a red herring. Maybe not loving is our real problem. Maybe worry is another real problem. Maybe worrying about money (or getting rid of it) is a real problem. Just live. Do better than you did yesterday. Seek inspiration from Daniel and Mark, but don't feel like a failure if your path is not exactly the same as theirs. You have your own contribution to the world.

  27. I actually agree with Julie about money. Hatred or worry about money is the flip side of loving it. It's better to use money than to not and yet obsess about its evils & judge those who use it.

    I have also seen many genuine smiles on paid service workers - and it does depend on the state of our hearts, not our status position. What I'm doing & saying has caused worry in some folks who feel trapped making money, and I don't want this to be the point of why I do this. It's to show there are alternatives, to get us to question the basis of the whole system, hopefully to give hope rather than despair.

    On the other hand, our hands must also be clean of blood: Right Livelihood, part of the 8-fold path (Westerners often like to reduce Buddhism to inner meditation, only 1/8 of the 8-fold path of ethics). We must look at banks, fast-food joints, retail stores, etc: are they exploiting people and resources? Must we partake in exploitation?

  28. Suelo,

    I thank you for your departing from the usual to bring me the news of the upcoming operation. I'm in. And I'm spreading the word at Occupy Denver this Saturday.


  29. Whatever that money ideal has to mean anything to
    me or not, it's just my idea to let you receive a
    good suggestion of mine that if you play good music, you're of course & a.s.a.p. welcome to contact me, please, so I can find out & so on, greetings, 'J.,'