G. Edward Griffin (born November 7, 1931) is an American film producer, author, and political lecturer. He is perhaps best known as the author of The Creature from Jekyll Island (1994), a critique of much modern economic theory and practice, specifically the Federal Reserve System.
"We must choose between two paths. Either we conclude that Americans have lost control over their government or we reject this information as a mere distortion of history. In the first case we become advocates of the conspiratorial view of history in the later we endorse the accidental view. It is a difficult choice. The reason it is difficult is that we have been conditioned to laugh at conspiracy theories, and few people will risk public ridicule by advocating them. On the other hand, to endorse the accidental view is absurd. Almost all of history is an unbroken trail of one conspiracy after another. Conspiracies are the norm, not the exception."
— G. Edward Griffin in The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve (1995)
"The so-called charity of collectivism is a perversion of the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan who stopped along the highway to help a stranger who had been robbed and beaten. He even takes the victim to an inn and pays for his stay there until he recovers. Everyone approves of such acts of compassion and charity, but what would we think if the Samaritan had pointed his sword at the next traveler and threatened to kill him if he didn't also help? If that had happened, I doubt if the story would have made it into the Bible; because, at that point, the Samaritan would be no different than the original robber – who also might have had a virtuous motive. For all we know, he could have claimed that he was merely providing for his family and feeding his children. Most crimes are rationalized in this fashion, but they are crimes nevertheless. When coercion enters, charity leaves." — G. Edward Griffin
"Individualists refuse to play this game. We expect everyone to be charitable, but we also believe that a person should be free not to be charitable if he doesn't want to. If he prefers to give to a different charity than the one we urge on him, if he prefers to give a smaller amount that what we think he should, or if he prefers not to give at all, we believe that we have no right to force him to our will. We may try to persuade him to do so; we may appeal to his conscience; and especially we may show the way by our own good example; but we reject any attempt to gang up on him, either by physically restraining him while we remove the money from his pockets or by using the ballot box to pass laws that will take his money through taxation. In either case, the principle is the same. It's called stealing."
— G. Edward Griffin in The Chasm: The Future Is Calling (Part One 2003–2009)
"Collectivists would have you believe that individualism is merely another word for selfishness, because individualists oppose welfare and other forms of coercive redistribution of wealth, but just the opposite is true. Individualists advocate true charity, which is the voluntary giving of their own money, while collectivists advocate the coercive giving of other people's money; which, of course, is why it is so popular."
— G. Edward Griffin in The Chasm: The Future Is Calling (Part One) (2003–2009)
Starting as a child actor, he became a radio station manager before age 20. He then began a career of producing documentaries and books on often-debated topics like cancer, Noah's ark, and the Federal Reserve System, as well as on libertarian views of the Supreme Court of the United States, terrorism, subversion, and foreign policy. Since the 1970s, Griffin has promoted laetrile as a cancer treatment, a view considered quackery by the medical community. He has also promoted the Durupınar site as hosting the original Noah's ark, against skeptics as well as near-Ararat Creationists. He has opposed the Federal Reserve since the 1960s, saying it constitutes a banking cartel and an instrument of war and totalitarianism. In 2002, Griffin founded the individualist network Freedom Force International.
Griffin was born in Detroit, Michigan, on November 7, 1931, and became a child actor on local radio in 1942. By 1947 he was emceeing at WJR (CBS), and continued as announcer at WUOM and station manager at WWJ-TV (NBC), 1950–1955. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1953, majoring in speech and communications. Griffin served in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956, reaching the rank of sergeant.
By 1964, Griffin had completed his first book, The Fearful Master, on the United Nations, a challenging topic that recurs throughout his writings. When George Wallace ran for President of the United States in the election of 1968, winning five states for the paleoconservative third-party American Independent Party, Griffin served as a writer for Wallace's vice presidential candidate, Curtis LeMay, a retired General of the Air Force. In the next year, Griffin began producing political films for American Media of Los Angeles (later moving to Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village, California), of which he is president. While he describes his work as the output of "a plain vanilla researcher", Griffin also agrees with the Los Angeles Daily News characterizing him as "Crusader Rabbit".
Griffin has been a member and officer of the John Birch Society for much of his life and a contributing editor to its magazine, The New American. Since the 1960s, Griffin has spoken and written at length about the Society's theory of history involving "communist and capitalist conspiracies" over banking systems (including the Federal Reserve System), American foreign policy, the Supreme Court of the United States, and the United Nations. From 1962 to 1975, he completed nine books and seven film productions; his 1969 video lecture, More Deadly Than War: The Communist Revolution in America, was printed in English and Dutch. In 1974, he published World Without Cancer, and in 1975, he wrote a sympathetic biography of Society founder Robert W. Welch, which was well received by members of the organization. Six of his documentaries from the early period were re-released in 2001 as Hidden Agenda: Real Conspiracies that Affect our Lives Today.
In 1974, Griffin wrote and published the book World Without Cancer, and released it as a documentary video; its second edition appeared in 1997, and it was translated into Afrikaans, 1988, and German, 2005. In the book and the video, Griffin asserts that cancer is a metabolic disease facilitated by the insufficient dietary consumption of amygdalin, a view which has been rejected by the medical community. He contends that "eliminating cancer through a nondrug therapy has not been accepted because of the hidden economic and power agendas of those who dominate the medical establishment" and he wrote, "at the very top of the world's economic and political pyramid of power there is a grouping of financial, political, and industrial interests that, by the very nature of their goals, are the natural enemies of the nutritional approaches to health".
Griffin also advocates the use of Laetrile, a semi-synthetic derivative of amygdalin as a treatment for cancer, often referencing the work of Dean Burk to support the use of Laetrile. Since the 1970s, the use of Laetrile to treat cancer has been described in the scientific literature as a canonical example of quackery and has never been shown to be effective in the treatment or prevention of cancer.
The author of a critical review of World Without Cancer asserts that Griffin "accepts the 'conspiracy' theory ... that policy-makers in the medical, pharmaceutical, research and fund-raising organizations deliberately or unconsciously strive not to prevent or cure cancer in order to perpetuate their functions". The reviewer concludes that although World Without Cancer "is an emotional plea for the unrestricted use of the Laetrile as an anti-tumor agent, the scientific evidence to justify such a policy does not appear within it".
Griffin's websites refer visitors to doctors, clinics, and hospitals with alternative cancer treatments, including sellers of Laetrile. He does not sell Laetrile himself.
Griffin founded The Cancer Cure Foundation "in December of 1976 as a non-profit organization dedicated to research and education in alternative cancer therapies". The foundation expanded its mission in March, 2002 to include disseminating information about other medical conditions, and it changed its name to The Cure Research Foundation. During the 1980s, Griffin returned to producing films about terrorism, subversion, and Communism.
The Creature from Jekyll Island
Griffin enrolled in the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado, and became a Certified Financial Planner in 1989. He described the U.S. money system in his 1993 movie and 1994 book on the Federal Reserve System, The Creature from Jekyll Island. This popular book has been a business bestseller; it has been reprinted in Japanese, 2005, and German, 2006. The book also influenced Ron Paul during the writing of a chapter on money and the Federal Reserve in Paul's New York Times number-one bestseller, The Revolution: A Manifesto, which recommended Griffin's book on its "Reading List for a Free and Prosperous America".
The title refers to the November 1910 meeting at Jekyll Island, Georgia, of six bankers and economic policymakers, who represented the financial elite of the Western world. The meeting was recounted by Forbes founder B. C. Forbes in 1916, and recalled by participant Frank Vanderlip as "the actual conception of what eventually became the Federal Reserve System". Griffin states that participant Paul Warburg describes the Jekyll Island meeting as "this most interesting conference concerning which Senator Aldrich pledged all participants to secrecy".
Griffin's work stresses the point which Federal Reserve chair Marriner Eccles made in Congressional testimony in 1941: "If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn't be any money." Griffin advocates against the debt-based fiat money system on several grounds, stating that it devours individual prosperity through inflation and it is used to perpetuate war. He also described a framework of central bankers underwriting both sides of an ongoing war or revolution. Griffin says that the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the World Bank are working to destroy American sovereignty through a system of world military and financial control, and he advocates for United States withdrawal from the United Nations.
Edward Flaherty, an academic economist, characterized Griffin's description of the secret meeting on Jekyll Island as "conspiratorial", "amateurish", and "suspect". Griffin's response was that Flaherty had miscategorized the book with other publications and had labeled all criticisms of the Federal Reserve as the results of conspiracy theory.
Griffin's advocation of a free-market, private-money system superior to the Fed caused Bernard von NotHaus to deploy such a system in 1998. Griffin states that von NotHaus's private silver certificates, known as Liberty Dollars, are "real money".
The "Mandrake mechanism"
Also known as the money multiplier effect, the Mandrake mechanism is a term coined by Griffin in this book. Mandrake the Magician was a comic strip character from the 1940s. He had the ability to magically create things and, when appropriate, make them disappear. Griffin's view is similar to many other gold-standard supporters' critique of the fractional-reserve banking system and the Federal Reserve in particular: that it makes money "magically" appear from nothing.
In Griffin's view, the "magical" quality of this mechanism is really just a simple mathematical limit. When banks loan money, they don't actually loan existing money. Rather, they allocate money to loan, but they are limited by how much money they can create. The law basically says that, for each dollar a bank has on hand in one of its savings accounts, it is allowed to create another 90 cents to give out as a loan. (The dollar from the savings account is still there, and can still be spent by the person who owns the savings account.) This loan is then spent, and the recipient puts it into another bank, and that bank can now loan 90 cents times 0.9 = 81 cents. This can be repeated many times (depending on the demand for loans) until it approaches its mathematical limit of 10 dollars.
For example, when the Federal Reserve holds on deposit 1 billion in marketable United States Treasury security then the banks in the banking system, public and private, and bound by U.S. financial law, are able to generate 10 billion in new debt over time. In September, 2008 the U.S. Public Debt was 5.8 trillion and from that debt there was a potential to create approximately 53 trillion ((5.8x10)-5.8=52.2) dollars of money (as debt).
In 2002, Griffin founded Freedom Force International, a libertarian activist network, whose members value individual freedom above government power. The organization's position that the exclusive role of government is to protect people's rights and property, not to provide services like welfare, reflects Griffin's view that collectivism and freedom "are mortal enemies." One of the organization's stated goals is to elect people with such views to government offices and onto the boards of nonprofit organizations — true to its motto, "Don't fight city hall when you can be city hall."
In 2006, Griffin was interviewed for the documentary film America: Freedom to Fascism. He endorsed Ron Paul for President of the United States in the United States 2008 elections.
- (1964). The Fearful Master: A Second Look at the United Nations. Boston, MA: Western Islands Publishers. ISBN 0882791028. OCLC 414277.
- (1968). The Grand Design: A Lecture on U.S. Foreign Policy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Grand Design. OCLC 6207421.
- (1968). The Great Prison Break: The Supreme Court Leads the Way. Boston, MA: Western Islands Publishers. OCLC 220369.
- (1968). A Memorandum on Supreme Court Decisions: Summaries of Key Decisions of the United States Supreme Court as Related to the Impeachment of the Chief Justice. Belmont, MA. OCLC 432181.
- (1969) (transcript). More Deadly Than War: The Communist Revolution in America. American Media.
- (1970). This is the John Birch Society: An Invitation to Membership (1st ed., 2d ed. 1972, 3d ed. 1981 Western Islands ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: American Media. OCLC 83825.
- (1971) (transcript). The Capitalist Conspiracy: An Inside View of International Banking (1st ed., 2d ed. 1982 Huntington Beach Patriots ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: American Media. OCLC 3263688.
- (1974). World Without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B17 (1st ed., reprinted 1976, 1977, 2d ed. 1997, reprinted 2001, 2006 ed.). American Media. ISBN 0912986093.
- (1975). The Life and Words of Robert Welch, Founder of the John Birch Society. E. Merrill Root (introduction). Thousand Oaks, CA: American Media. ISBN 9780912986074. OCLC 1530499.
- Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements, ed. (1986) (archival material). Ephemeral Materials, 1976-1986. Westlake Village, CA: Americans for Medical Freedom. OCLC 18761098.
- (1994). The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve (1st ed., 2d ed. 1995, 3d ed. 1998 American Media, 4th ed. 2002, now in 6th ed.). Appleton, WI: American Opinion Publishing. ISBN 0912986166. OCLC 31354943.
- (1997). Private Papers Pertaining to Laetrile. Westlake Village, CA: American Media. ISBN 9780912986203. OCLC 61633861.
The Grand Design: A Lecture on U.S. Foreign Policy. 1968.
(Lecture recorded on April 3, 1969) More Deadly Than War: The Communist Revolution in America. American Media. 1969. OCLC 5549058.
World Without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B17 (Visual material). American Media. 1974. OCLC 5604983.
Bezmenov, Yuri; Griffin, G. Edward (1984). Soviet Subversion of the Free Press: A Conversation with Yuri Bezmenov (Videotape). Westlake Village, CA: American Media. OCLC 45810551.
Griffin, G. Edward; Solis, Willy (1985). The Red Reality in Central America (Videotape). Westlake Village, CA: American Media. OCLC 37023488.
The Discovery of Noah's Ark: The Whole Story (Videotape). Westlake Village, CA: American Media. 1992. OCLC 29511807.
Griffin, G. Edward; Shurtleff, Howard (1994). The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve (Videotape). John Birch Society. OCLC 36245861.
(6 volumes) Hidden Agenda: Real Conspiracies that Affect our Lives Today. Venice, CA: Knowledge 20/20. 2001. OCLC 49289908.
Vol. 1 (1972). The Capitalist Conspiracy: An Inside View of International Banking (Documentary). American Media. OCLC 5558340.
Vol. 2 (1983). The Subversion Factor: A History of Treason in Modern America (Part 1: Moles in High Places, Part 2: Open Gates of Troy) (Videotape). Westlake Village, CA: American Media. OCLC 36968013.
Vol. 3 (1968). The Truth About Communism: Only the Brave are Free (Videotape).
Vol. 4 (1966). Anarchy U.S.A.: In the Name of Civil Rights (DVD, Documentary). John Birch Society.
Vol. 5 (1962). Katanga: The Untold Story (Videotape).
Vol. 6. WBTV (1982). No Place to Hide: The Strategy and Tactics of Terrorism (Videotape). Alexandria, VA: Western Goals Foundation. OCLC 10744020. Also. OCLC 19993388..
UFO-TV (distributor) (2004). The Discovery of Noah's Ark: The Whole Story (DVD). Venice, CA: Knowledge 20/20. OCLC 59007573.
Griffin, G. Edward (executive producer); Dill, David; Gazecki, William; Harris, Bev; Mercuri, Rebecca; Rubin, Aviel D (2004). Invisible Ballots: A Temptation for Electronic Vote Fraud (Videotape, DVD). Westlake Village, CA: American Media and Reality Zone. ISBN 9780912986432. OCLC 65199460. Also. OCLC 56844390..
Jaeger, James; Baehr, Theodore; Griffin, G. Edward; Paul, Ron; Vieira, Edwin (2007). Fiat Empire: Why the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution (DVD). Beverly Hills, CA; a James Jaeger Film: Cornerstone-Matrixx Entertainment. OCLC 192133806.
Jaeger, James; Baehr, Theodore; Buchanan, Patrick; Griffin, G. Edward; Paul, Ron; Vieira, Edwin. (2007). Original Intent: How Negative Influences are Undermining the U.S. Republic. [DVD]. Beverly Hills, CA: Cornerstone-Matrixx Entertainment; a James Jaeger Film.
Jaeger, James; Baehr, Theodore; Buchanan, Patrick; Griffin, G. Edward; Paul, Ron; Vieira, Edwin. (2007). Cultural Marxism: The Corruption of America. [DVD]. Beverly Hills, CA: Cornerstone-Matrixx Entertainment; a James Jaeger Film.
Jaeger, James; Baehr, Theodore; Buchanan, Patrick; Griffin, G. Edward; Paul, Ron; Vieira, Edwin. (2007). Corporate Fascism: The Destruction of America's Middle Class. [DVD]. Beverly Hills, CA: Matrixx Productions; a James Jaeger Film.
Jaeger, James; Buchanan, Patrick; Griffin, G. Edward; Lillback, Peter; McManus, John; Paul, Ron; Vieira, Edwin. (2007). Spoiler: How a Third Political Party Could Win. [DVD]. Beverly Hills, CA: Matrixx Productions; a James Jaeger Film.
What in the World Are They Spraying? The Chemtrail/Geo-Engineering Coverup. Produced by G. Edward Griffin, Michael Murphy, and Paul Wittenberger. (2010). DVD.