“Switzerland boasts that it has more banks than dentists. There are, in all, 4,200 banking outlets, or one for every 1,300 people.”--TIME, 1965.
“The Grand Lodge Alpina is the largest Freemasonic lodge in Switzerland and therefore attracts much attention from anti-Masonic conspirirologists. European conspiracy buffs have long believed the GLA controls the finances of the Western World through the banks they own in Zurich, Basel, and Geneva.”--Robert Anton Wilson, Grand Lodge Alpina. Everything Is Under Control. (1998) pg. 210.
As an avid reader of the late great trickster, Robert Anton Wilson, the phrase, “The Gnomes Of Zurich” has been burned into my neurons for over two decades. In my minds-eye, when I hear those three words I get flashes of the film Amelie and the kidnapped Gnome, mixed with blurred images of the Kabouter on the label of the strong Belgian beer, La Chouffe’ a meme of Gnome Chomsky and now a Gnome/Pandora mythical hybrid creature.
Gnome entered our language by way of the Swiss alchemist Paracelsus, and grew a little since the 19th century due to the fad of garden gnome statues, probably how most people encounter them in the wild. Gnomes are related to Dwarfs and sprites, to magic mushrooms and mischievous little people who fuck with you if you fuck with them. But it’s the Swiss species of Gnomes that interest us here, or the 1960’s British Labour M.P’s interpretation of Swiss Gnomes that resulted in their comparison with secretive underground Swiss bankers.
Mischievous little men in underground bunkers, weaponsmiths, guards of gold mines, and other mines. This mixing of metaphors creates a toxic gaseous mixture, indeed, I’d say something that would piss the Gnomes right off. Using them as scapegoats for very simply put...bad and sad greedy men who seize power by any means and adore private men’s clubs, Rolex watches and whiskey.
The term Gnomes Of Zurich was minted on record by Labour M.P George Brown in 1964, which by osmosis soon appeared to Harold Wilson’s speeches, charging a secretive Swiss banker cabal of selling Britain short and pushing the value of the Pound down. “More powerful than all the governments of Europe” Harold once said. What were the public to make of these mysterious Gnomes? What if they'd been called the Dwarfs Of Zuruch? (Ask's the MGT)
Like any seemingly new idea, minted into the public arena, Swiss Bankers and other bankers and their secretive (for profit) practices, disruption and questionable collaborations have been tracked and addressed by a small but significant lineage of brave independent investigative journalists. Give thanks to those bringing scrutiny and meaningful critique.
Wilson recommend some early-mid 20th century economists C.H Douglas, Silvio Gessel, John Maynard Keynes, plus the economic ideas of Buckminster Fuller and Karl Popper, (social credit a.k.a universal basic income) to add clarity to a critique of international unrestricted finance capital. As a counter perspective to the premise of these banker conspiracies to put public funds into private pockets with exceptionalism (offshore tax loopholes) and a mostly male underground culture of secret societies and private members groups. Priviliged to the highest degree.
I suspect R.A.W was drawn to the term Gnomes Of Zurich for a number of reasons. Firstly, he devoured literature on folk history, mythical tales, phenomenology and magical entities. Gnomes are a somewhat popular manifestation and continued folkloric tradition in gardens worldwide. Iconic. RAW commented, or joked that he was no relation to UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson, when rapping on Gnomes. Typically in RAW's writing and speech, the GOZ are one group of suspiciously secretive entities at play in his operatic investigative performance, more than 40 years deep. Gnomes also thread into RAWs on-going research into the Grand Lodge Alpina, and “alp” has significance to fans of James Joyce’s masterpiece Finnegans Wake, alp represents the ubiquitous feminine entity Anna Livia Plurabella. I digress. RAW ties this together neatly in his book Coincidance: A Head Test, which I highly recommend.
Pandora's Buried Box
In light of the Pandora Papers leak/release, we can bridge some time gaps in this epic narrative horror. Surfing in the wake of unrestricted international finance capitalism. Bankers, spies, oligarchs and kleptocrats operate within the laws they create and outside of them. This much seems clear to me.
What the Pandora papers show, after a first brief reading of some articles--and I feel is important for all researchers to keep in mind--is the international reach of these elite bad-money actors. Not only Swiss, most of Europe, America, Russia, Arabia, the nationality of the bad actors is not the focus here, get a grip! It’s the criminality and the greed, the dodging of regulation, the dodging of paying a fair-share of tax, the collaboration with violence prone thieves from all parts of the world, that I feel needs to be addressed, curtailed.
Like the Panama Papers previously, the Pandora Papers are a part of the tale of the tribe, the once hidden counter-forces, highly funded and manipulating world-around economies, finance, culture and politics, the polar opposite of the artistic endeavour to tell this tale honestly for the benefit of all the people and the general heart.
Today, 23 years after RAW published Everything Is Under Control, the latest findings from the Pandora Papers seem to confirm aspects of these pre-existing banking and finance conspiracies, operating in the present day (2021). This quote from a feature on Fidinam criss-crosses with Angleton’s operations traced by RAW in his essay TSOG.
“One of Fidinam’s longtime clients, Delfo Zorzi, was under investigation for decades for his alleged involvement in two deadly terror attacks: a 1969 Milan bank bombing that killed 16 people and a 1974 bombing, also in Italy, that left eight people dead. He fled to Japan shortly after the second attack and became a successful fashion entrepreneur.”--ICIJ, Leak reveals how Swiss wealth consultants shield global cast of suspects.
This perspective on Swiss banking practices from a BBC News item (2010), sprawls out and down, into the horrors of WW2, begging the question who benefits?
“The secretive Swiss were seen as helping ruthless international capitalists and dictators avoid taxes and protect their wealth. In World War II, neutral Switzerland appeared to help Nazi Germany financially, while taking deposits from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It failed to return many of the assets after the war and in recent years some Swiss banks have agreed multi-million pound settlements with families to avoid being sued.--Why Are Swiss Bankers Called Gnomes? BBC, 2010.One way to help bring scrutiny to these entities is to support independent investigative journalists and those who exhibit integrity and brevity while uncovering facts and sharing them. It strikes me that most but not all 2021 popular conspiracy culture is stuck in supernatural goo, oversimplified fantasy and outright crazy, as if Netflix shapes the majority of global perspectives on conspiracies, aliens, Covid, serial killers and MK Ultra. Although there are a handful of documentaries (Inside Job,) and fictional renditions of global banking conspiracies (The Big Short), I feel that there should be way more of them. Every one of these stories from the Pandora Papers deserves a non-fictional documentary feature, and a series of fictional interpretations to help get at the truth and the occulted history of international finance capital at its worst.
I hope not to come across as banker bashing here, I’ve known bankers who have been very kind and decent people. To put on their leather shoes for a moment, no doubt many people would make the choices they make in the tricky positions they are in, bankers are not exclusively all bad actors. Browse the Pandora papers and make up your own mind, and if you wish to dive down a rabbit hole or two, latch onto Robert Anton Wilson’s research based thinking on the history of international finance and practice his recommended techniques for better processing of information: linguistic relativity, falsification, model agnosticism, maybe logic, semantic hygiene, good cheer! It's a jungle out there, take care. Be good to each other.
“In David Yallop’s anti-Vatican blockbuster “In God’s Name,” he alleges several suspicious links between the P2 conspiracy in Italy and the Grand Lodge Alpina.”
“Other writers on P2 agree that it took money from both the KGB and the CIA, had over 900 agents in the Italian government, used the Vatican Bank to launder Mafia and CIA drug money, fomented fascism in Latin America, and was allegedly plotting a fascist coup in Italy when, after the mysterious deaths of ringleaders Roberto Calvi and Michele “The Shark” Sindona, the whole house of cards came tumbling down.”
--Grand Lodge Alpina. Everything Is Under Control. (1998) pg. 210.
"From this story has grown the idiom "to open a Pandora's box", meaning to do or start something that will cause many unforeseen problems. A modern, more colloquial equivalent is "to open a can of worms"
"I am not an enemy of funding systems.... But every bank of
discount, every bank by which interest is to be paid or profit of
any kind made by the deponent, is downright corruption. It is
taxing the public for the benefit and profit of individuals; it is
worse than the old tenor, continental currency, or any other paper
money...--John Adams, Letter to Benjamin Rush, 1811.