Hello on this gorgeous, sunny SA day!
This man's a great journo and it's inspiring to see a piece like this making it into a long-established MSM publication/site.
Barclays, who changed it's name in the 80's to First National Bank here so they could still continue to fill their coffers in times of past SA unrest and international business boycotts, is present as one of the handful of banking cartel members here too.
Alive, well and raking in their (continued illegal) share of profit at the misery and expense of the SA people.
The awakening of the people globalwide is surely upon us, though...
Love of the One Heart
The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix
By Matt Taibbi
April 25, 2013 1:00 PM ET
Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.
You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it "dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets."
That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.
Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It's about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.
It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates. In fact, in recent years many of these banks have already paid multimillion-dollar settlements for anti-competitive manipulation of one form or another (in addition to Libor, some were caught up in an anti-competitive scheme, detailed in Rolling Stone last year, to rig municipal-debt service auctions). Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture.
The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia
Why? Because Libor already affects the prices of interest-rate swaps, making this a manipulation-on-manipulation situation. If the allegations prove to be right, that will mean that swap customers have been paying for two different layers of price-fixing corruption. If you can imagine paying 20 bucks for a crappy PB&J because some evil cabal of agribusiness companies colluded to fix the prices of both peanuts and peanut butter, you come close to grasping the lunacy of financial markets where both interest rates and interest-rate swaps are being manipulated at the same time, often by the same banks.
"It's a double conspiracy," says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. "It's the height of criminality."
The bad news didn't stop with swaps and interest rates. In March, it also came out that two regulators – the CFTC here in the U.S. and the Madrid-based International Organization of Securities Commissions – were spurred by the Libor revelations to investigate the possibility of collusive manipulation of gold and silver prices. "Given the clubby manipulation efforts we saw in Libor benchmarks, I assume other benchmarks – many other benchmarks – are legit areas of inquiry," CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton said.
But the biggest shock came out of a federal courtroom at the end of March – though if you follow these matters closely, it may not have been so shocking at all – when a landmark class-action civil lawsuit against the banks for Libor-related offenses was dismissed. In that case, a federal judge accepted the banker-defendants' incredible argument: If cities and towns and other investors lost money because of Libor manipulation, that was their own fault for ever thinking the banks were competing in the first place.
"A farce," was one antitrust lawyer's response to the eyebrow-raising dismissal.
"Incredible," says Sylvia Sokol, an attorney for Constantine Cannon, a firm that specializes in antitrust cases.
All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings – in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation's GDP – are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it's increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.
If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati – this is the real thing, and it's no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want.
The banks found a loophole, a basic flaw in the machine. Across the financial system, there are places where prices or official indices are set based upon unverified data sent in by private banks and financial companies. In other words, we gave the players with incentives to game the system institutional roles in the economic infrastructure.
Libor, which measures the prices banks charge one another to borrow money, is a perfect example, not only of this basic flaw in the price-setting system but of the weakness in the regulatory framework supposedly policing it. Couple a voluntary reporting scheme with too-big-to-fail status and a revolving-door legal system, and what you get is unstoppable corruption.
Every morning, 18 of the world's biggest banks submit data to an office in London about how much they believe they would have to pay to borrow from other banks. The 18 banks together are called the "Libor panel," and when all of these data from all 18 panelist banks are collected, the numbers are averaged out. What emerges, every morning at 11:30 London time, are the daily Libor figures.
Banks submit numbers about borrowing in 10 different currencies across 15 different time periods, e.g., loans as short as one day and as long as one year. This mountain of bank-submitted data is used every day to create benchmark rates that affect the prices of everything from credit cards to mortgages to currencies to commercial loans (both short- and long-term) to swaps.
Gangster Bankers Broke Every Law in the Book
Dating back perhaps as far as the early Nineties, traders and others inside these banks were sometimes calling up the company geeks responsible for submitting the daily Libor numbers (the "Libor submitters") and asking them to fudge the numbers. Usually, the gimmick was the trader had made a bet on something – a swap, currencies, something – and he wanted the Libor submitter to make the numbers look lower (or, occasionally, higher) to help his bet pay off.
Famously, one Barclays trader monkeyed with Libor submissions in exchange for a bottle of Bollinger champagne, but in some cases, it was even lamer than that. This is from an exchange between a trader and a Libor submitter at the Royal Bank of Scotland:
SWISS FRANC TRADER: can u put 6m swiss libor in low pls?...
PRIMARY SUBMITTER: Whats it worth
SWSISS FRANC TRADER: ive got some sushi rolls from yesterday?...
PRIMARY SUBMITTER: ok low 6m, just for u
SWISS FRANC TRADER: wooooooohooooooo. . . thatd be awesome
Screwing around with world interest rates that affect billions of people in exchange for day-old sushi – it's hard to imagine an image that better captures the moral insanity of the modern financial-services sector.
Hundreds of similar exchanges were uncovered when regulators like Britain's Financial Services Authority and the U.S. Justice Department started burrowing into the befouled entrails of Libor. The documentary evidence of anti-competitive manipulation they found was so overwhelming that, to read it, one almost becomes embarrassed for the banks. "It's just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money," chirped one yen trader. "Pure manipulation going on," wrote another.
Yet despite so many instances of at least attempted manipulation, the banks mostly skated. Barclays got off with a relatively minor fine in the $450 million range, UBS was stuck with $1.5 billion in penalties, and RBS was forced to give up $615 million. Apart from a few low-level flunkies overseas, no individual involved in this scam that impacted nearly everyone in the industrialized world was even threatened with criminal prosecution.
Two of America's top law-enforcement officials, Attorney General Eric Holder and former Justice Department Criminal Division chief Lanny Breuer, confessed that it's dangerous to prosecute offending banks because they are simply too big. Making arrests, they say, might lead to "collateral consequences" in the economy.
The relatively small sums of money extracted in these settlements did not go toward reparations for the cities, towns and other victims who lost money due to Libor manipulation. Instead, it flowed mindlessly into government coffers. So it was left to towns and cities like Baltimore (which lost money due to fluctuations in their municipal investments caused by Libor movements), pensions like the New Britain, Connecticut, Firefighters' and Police Benefit Fund, and other foundations – and even individuals (billionaire real-estate developer Sheldon Solow, who filed his own suit in February, claims that his company lost $450 million because of Libor manipulation) – to sue the banks for damages.
One of the biggest Libor suits was proceeding on schedule when, early in March, an army of superstar lawyers working on behalf of the banks descended upon federal judge Naomi Buchwald in the Southern District of New York to argue an extraordinary motion to dismiss. The banks' legal dream team drew from heavyweight Beltway-connected firms like Boies Schiller (you remember David Boies represented Al Gore), Davis Polk (home of top ex-regulators like former SEC enforcement chief Linda Thomsen) and Covington & Burling, the onetime private-practice home of both Holder and Breuer.
The presence of Covington & Burling in the suit – representing, of all companies, Citigroup, the former employer of current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew – was particularly galling. Right as the Libor case was being dismissed, the firm had hired none other than Lanny Breuer, the same Lanny Breuer who, just a few months before, was the assistant attorney general who had balked at criminally prosecuting UBS over Libor because, he said, "Our goal here is not to destroy a major financial institution."
In any case, this all-star squad of white-shoe lawyers came before Buchwald and made the mother of all audacious arguments. Robert Wise of Davis Polk, representing Bank of America, told Buchwald that the banks could not possibly be guilty of anti- competitive collusion because nobody ever said that the creation of Libor was competitive. "It is essential to our argument that this is not a competitive process," he said. "The banks do not compete with one another in the submission of Libor."
If you squint incredibly hard and look at the issue through a mirror, maybe while standing on your head, you can sort of see what Wise is saying. In a very theoretical, technical sense, the actual process by which banks submit Libor data – 18 geeks sending numbers to the British Bankers' Association offices in London once every morning – is not competitive per se.
But these numbers are supposed to reflect interbank-loan prices derived in a real, competitive market. Saying the Libor submission process is not competitive is sort of like pointing out that bank robbers obeyed the speed limit on the way to the heist. It's the silliest kind of legal sophistry.
But Wise eventually outdid even that argument, essentially saying that while the banks may have lied to or cheated their customers, they weren't guilty of the particular crime of antitrust collusion. This is like the old joke about the lawyer who gets up in court and claims his client had to be innocent, because his client was committing a crime in a different state at the time of the offense.
"The plaintiffs, I believe, are confusing a claim of being perhaps deceived," he said, "with a claim for harm to competition."
Judge Buchwald swallowed this lunatic argument whole and dismissed most of the case. Libor, she said, was a "cooperative endeavor" that was "never intended to be competitive." Her decision "does not reflect the reality of this business, where all of these banks were acting as competitors throughout the process," said the antitrust lawyer Sokol. Buchwald made this ruling despite the fact that both the U.S. and British governments had already settled with three banks for billions of dollars for improper manipulation, manipulation that these companies admitted to in their settlements.
Michael Hausfeld of Hausfeld LLP, one of the lead lawyers for the plaintiffs in this Libor suit, declined to comment specifically on the dismissal. But he did talk about the significance of the Libor case and other manipulation cases now in the pipeline.
"It's now evident that there is a ubiquitous culture among the banks to collude and cheat their customers as many times as they can in as many forms as they can conceive," he said. "And that's not just surmising. This is just based upon what they've been caught at."
Greenberger says the lack of serious consequences for the Libor scandal has only made other kinds of manipulation more inevitable. "There's no therapy like sending those who are used to wearing Gucci shoes to jail," he says. "But when the attorney general says, 'I don't want to indict people,' it's the Wild West. There's no law."
The problem is, a number of markets feature the same infrastructural weakness that failed in the Libor mess. In the case of interest-rate swaps and the ISDAfix benchmark, the system is very similar to Libor, although the investigation into these markets reportedly focuses on some different types of improprieties.
Though interest-rate swaps are not widely understood outside the finance world, the root concept actually isn't that hard. If you can imagine taking out a variable-rate mortgage and then paying a bank to make your loan payments fixed, you've got the basic idea of an interest-rate swap.
In practice, it might be a country like Greece or a regional government like Jefferson County, Alabama, that borrows money at a variable rate of interest, then later goes to a bank to "swap" that loan to a more predictable fixed rate. In its simplest form, the customer in a swap deal is usually paying a premium for the safety and security of fixed interest rates, while the firm selling the swap is usually betting that it knows more about future movements in interest rates than its customers.
Prices for interest-rate swaps are often based on ISDAfix, which, like Libor, is yet another of these privately calculated benchmarks. ISDAfix's U.S. dollar rates are published every day, at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., after a gang of the same usual-suspect megabanks (Bank of America, RBS, Deutsche, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, etc.) submits information about bids and offers for swaps.
And here's what we know so far: The CFTC has sent subpoenas to ICAP and to as many as 15 of those member banks, and plans to interview about a dozen ICAP employees from the company's office in Jersey City, New Jersey. Moreover, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, or ISDA, which works together with ICAP (for U.S. dollar transactions) and Thomson Reuters to compute the ISDAfix benchmark, has hired the consulting firm Oliver Wyman to review the process by which ISDAfix is calculated. Oliver Wyman is the same company that the British Bankers' Association hired to review the Libor submission process after that scandal broke last year. The upshot of all of this is that it looks very much like ISDAfix could be Libor all over again.
"It's obviously reminiscent of the Libor manipulation issue," Darrell Duffie, a finance professor at Stanford University, told reporters. "People may have been naive that simply reporting these rates was enough to avoid manipulation."
And just like in Libor, the potential losers in an interest-rate-swap manipulation scandal would be the same sad-sack collection of cities, towns, companies and other nonbank entities that have no way of knowing if they're paying the real price for swaps or a price being manipulated by bank insiders for profit. Moreover, ISDAfix is not only used to calculate prices for interest-rate swaps, it's also used to set values for about $550 billion worth of bonds tied to commercial real estate, and also affects the payouts on some state-pension annuities.
So although it's not quite as widespread as Libor, ISDAfix is sufficiently power-jammed into the world financial infrastructure that any manipulation of the rate would be catastrophic – and a huge class of victims that could include everyone from state pensioners to big cities to wealthy investors in structured notes would have no idea they were being robbed.
"How is some municipality in Cleveland or wherever going to know if it's getting ripped off?" asks Michael Masters of Masters Capital Management, a fund manager who has long been an advocate of greater transparency in the derivatives world. "The answer is, they won't know."
Worse still, the CFTC investigation apparently isn't limited to possible manipulation of swap prices by monkeying around with ISDAfix. According to reports, the commission is also looking at whether or not employees at ICAP may have intentionally delayed publication of swap prices, which in theory could give someone (bankers, cough, cough) a chance to trade ahead of the information.
Swap prices are published when ICAP employees manually enter the data on a computer screen called "19901." Some 6,000 customers subscribe to a service that allows them to access the data appearing on the 19901 screen.
The key here is that unlike a more transparent, regulated market like the New York Stock Exchange, where the results of stock trades are computed more or less instantly and everyone in theory can immediately see the impact of trading on the prices of stocks, in the swap market the whole world is dependent upon a handful of brokers quickly and honestly entering data about trades by hand into a computer terminal.
Any delay in entering price data would provide the banks involved in the transactions with a rare opportunity to trade ahead of the information. One way to imagine it would be to picture a racetrack where a giant curtain is pulled over the track as the horses come down the stretch – and the gallery is only told two minutes later which horse actually won. Anyone on the right side of the curtain could make a lot of smart bets before the audience saw the results of the race.
At ICAP, the interest-rate swap desk, and the 19901 screen, were reportedly controlled by a small group of 20 or so brokers, some of whom were making millions of dollars. These brokers made so much money for themselves the unit was nicknamed "Treasure Island."
Already, there are some reports that brokers of Treasure Island did create such intentional delays. Bloomberg interviewed a former broker who claims that he watched ICAP brokers delay the reporting of swap prices. "That allows dealers to tell the brokers to delay putting trades into the system instead of in real time," Bloomberg wrote, noting the former broker had "witnessed such activity firsthand." An ICAP spokesman has no comment on the story, though the company has released a statement saying that it is "cooperating" with the CFTC's inquiry and that it "maintains policies that prohibit" the improper behavior alleged in news reports.
The idea that prices in a $379 trillion market could be dependent on a desk of about 20 guys in New Jersey should tell you a lot about the absurdity of our financial infrastructure. The whole thing, in fact, has a darkly comic element to it. "It's almost hilarious in the irony," says David Frenk, director of research for Better Markets, a financial-reform advocacy group, "that they called it ISDAfix."
After scandals involving libor and, perhaps, ISDAfix, the question that should have everyone freaked out is this: What other markets out there carry the same potential for manipulation? The answer to that question is far from reassuring, because the potential is almost everywhere. From gold to gas to swaps to interest rates, prices all over the world are dependent upon little private cabals of cigar-chomping insiders we're forced to trust.
"In all the over-the-counter markets, you don't really have pricing except by a bunch of guys getting together," Masters notes glumly.
That includes the markets for gold (where prices are set by five banks in a Libor-ish teleconferencing process that, ironically, was created in part by N M Rothschild & Sons) and silver (whose price is set by just three banks), as well as benchmark rates in numerous other commodities – jet fuel, diesel, electric power, coal, you name it. The problem in each of these markets is the same: We all have to rely upon the honesty of companies like Barclays (already caught and fined $453 million for rigging Libor) or JPMorgan Chase (paid a $228 million settlement for rigging municipal-bond auctions) or UBS (fined a collective $1.66 billion for both muni-bond rigging and Libor manipulation) to faithfully report the real prices of things like interest rates, swaps, currencies and commodities.
All of these benchmarks based on voluntary reporting are now being looked at by regulators around the world, and God knows what they'll find. The European Federation of Financial Services Users wrote in an official EU survey last summer that all of these systems are ripe targets for manipulation. "In general," it wrote, "those markets which are based on non-attested, voluntary submission of data from agents whose benefits depend on such benchmarks are especially vulnerable of market abuse and distortion."
Translation: When prices are set by companies that can profit by manipulating them, we're fucked.
"You name it," says Frenk. "Any of these benchmarks is a possibility for corruption."
The only reason this problem has not received the attention it deserves is because the scale of it is so enormous that ordinary people simply cannot see it. It's not just stealing by reaching a hand into your pocket and taking out money, but stealing in which banks can hit a few keystrokes and magically make whatever's in your pocket worth less. This is corruption at the molecular level of the economy, Space Age stealing – and it's only just coming into view.
This story is from the May 9th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.
Friday, September 6, 2013
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
An African perspective on crop circles. Via a man who's work and teachings have been surpressed. To the point where his wisdom is far better known and loved outside of than in his own country of South Africa. And one I'd dearly love to interview.
For your uninterrupted reading, in this case it's better if you go directly to the source, as I've had problems with images here and many of these discussed in the piece have been left off.
Saturday, 31 August 2013
„The world in which we live is more miraculous than we know. There are things which go on in our world about which we know nothing.“ Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa
By Andreas Muller
In late 2002 I read the book „Secrets in the Fields“ by crop circle researcher Freddy Silva. On page 303 the author writes:
„If contact with non human life continues to follow the U.S. military’s example of researching UFOs – shoot them down and analyze them – then it’s no wonder contact needs to be made in more subtle ways with people who appear to have every inclination of behaving like barbarians. Yet compare this attitude with that of „pagans“ in South Africa in response to crop circles: „Whenever a circle appeared in the fields, the people rushed to erect a fence of poles around the circle. They would dance and perform other sacred rituals honouring the Star Gods and the Earth Mother. All the kings and chiefs awaited the arrival of these circles. Their appearance would be cause for celebrations that lasted several days. The celebrations were accompanied by prayers to the gods to watch over the people and talk to them through the sacred sites.“ (MUTWA 1996, 23 / SILVA 2002, 303)
As the bibliographical reference Silva gives:
Mutwa, Credo. 1996. Isilwane: The Animal. Cape Town, S. Africa: Struick.
To be honest, I’d never heard of this book or its author before. I soon learnt more about this astonishing man, when doing an online search for his name.
Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa
The following is an abstract of his biography taken from Stephen Larsen’s editorial notes of Credo Mutwa’s book „Zulu Shaman“ (originally published under the title „Song of the Stars“ in 1996):
Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa was born in the Natal area of South Africa on July 21, 1921. His very name is a composite of his cultures of origin. „Vusamazulu“ is a Zulu honorific, meaning „Awakener of the Zulus“ and came through his initiation as a Sangoma (Traditional Healer, Shaman). But the name „Credo“ was given to him by his father, a Christian. It is from the Latin „I believe“. „Mutwa“ is Zulu for „little Bushman“ - „Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa“ then may be rendered to „Great Awakener, I Believe (in) Little Bushman“.
Credo was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church his father having held the position of „catechism instructor“. His mother Numabunu, however, was the daughter of the shaman-warrior Ziko Shezi, who had survived the awful battle of Ulundi, which ended the Zulu-Wars. Shezi was a Samgoma, and custodian of Zulu relics. The split in religion was to prove decisive for his parents’ relationship, and they never formally married, separating soon after Mutwa was born.
Fortunately, Mutwa received early training from his grandfather Ziko Shezi, and memorably the child would carry his grandfather’s medicine bags, full of sacred objects, to various ceremonies.
Credo Mutwa from an early time showed a proclivity for art, especially sculpture. (...)
In 1928 his father entered the picture again and obtained custody of the child over the objections of his mother. The young lad was obliged to go to the Transvaal with his father, stepmother and their three children. The family moved around to several different farms, and finally settled near Johannesburg (...).
Credo was educated in mission schools, taught in English about Western history and civilisation, and confirmed as a Christian in the process. His goal in those years was to become a schoolteacher, and hence he studied his lessons very well. (...)
In 1943 there began a time of sickness and disorientation for the young man. He was afflicted with dreams and visions, and a strange malaise would often come over him. He was experiencing the sickness that often comes to future Sangomas, initiating their call.
Now there are several kinds of traditional healers among the Zulu. An „Inyanga“ may inherit the profession from relatives. But a „Sangoma“ must receive a „call“ from the spirits, which seemed to be happening to the young man. At the urging of his mother and grandfather, Mutwa would undergo purification ceremonies, renounce formal Christianity, and begin to prepare himself to receive the training of the Sangoma. (...)
Fig. 1: Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa waring his sacred relics and holding an ancient statue
Credo Mutwa was to prove to be a very successful Sangoma, and eventually was elevated to the rank of „High Sanusi“, like the Indian „Sannyasin“, a holy man who has taken vows. In his way he came to be the leader of well over 500 other traditional healers.
„When I was made into a Sanusi, I took a vow never to reveal my knowledge, never to tell people about my profession or about the sacred artefacts (...) that I am entrusted with. But I feel that this vow is a hindrance, and some years ago I decided to break it. The result of this has been that my people have ostracized me and many people have bitterly blamed me for what I had done.“
Credo Mutwa very much believes in the value of tradition, but also affirms that we live in changing times. The traditions are to be kept, but their influence is to be made open to a larger audience than the dwindling faithful among the Zulu people.
The keepers of traditional stories are called „Guardians of the Umlando (tribal history), a different but overlapping role with that of the Sangoma. This role also Credo has embraced. To become this kind of traditional storyteller requires and aptitude for precise memorization and also the dramatic and artistic recitation of the stories. (...) (LARSEN/MUTWA 1996/2003, xiii)
In the foreword of the aforementioned book „Isilwane The Animal - Tales and Fables of Africa” Mutwa recounts the following:
(...) At harvest time, we left some of our corn standing so that passing birds could share in the bounty of our fields and, by sharing, bless us and ensure us of plenty of food. Sometimes large fields of corn and millet were planted. These were sacred to the goddess and were offered to the vast armies of birds to eat. No human being could enter the sacred cornfield.
The sacred fields were ploughed far from the ordinary millet, maize and corn, as they were left unfenced. Over centuries, people had discovered that the star gods sometimes communicated with human beings through these sacred fields. Time and again, strange circular depressions were seen in the centre of these fields. These depressions were called „Izishoze Zamatongo“, the great circles of the gods.
These circles were an amazing sight to see. The gods never cut the stalks of corn or millet when they form these depressions. It appears as though a great circular, disk-shaped force has descended on the field. It pressed the corn firmly into the ground, without breaking the stalks or damaging the plants. Then the force appears to spin, resulting in the strange spiral appearance of the fallen stalks. Words cannot describe such a phenomenon, which I have seen more than thirty times in the course of my life as a traditional healer. Whenever a circle appeared in the fields, the people rushed to erect a fence of poles around the circle. They would dance and perform other sacred rituals honouring the star gods and the Earth Mother.
All the kings and chiefs awaited the arrival of these circles. The appearance would be cause for celebrations that lasted several days. These celebrations were accompanied by prayers to the gods to watch over the people and to talk to them through the sacred circles.(...) (MUTWA 1996, 23)
When I read this I was struck by the way this description matched what we call the „Crop Circles“ and I wanted to learn more about this phenomenon on the African continent, currently unknown to Western crop circle research.
It took me quite a long time to gain access to this holy man but finally in 2005 he invited me to visit him on the farm where he lives, in the hills between Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Fig. 2: My meeting with Credo Mutwa on a humble farm between Pretoria and Johannesburg in April 2005. (Photo: Müller / Berkovits)
I met Credo Mutwa in April of the same year and was astonished to find a man of his wisdom and high ranking living such a humble life; his simple dwellings incomparable to the palaces his differnt religious equivalents reside in worldwide. After a short introduction and viewing pictures of European crop circles that I brought with me, we started our conversation and I learnt my first lesson: I was prepared to conduct the interview in a traditional Western manner with a numbered list of questions. However, when confronted by a „Guardian of the Umlando“ like Credo Mutwa I soon realized that things would not unfold in the usual manner. When a man like him starts to talk to you about his folklore and traditions, there seems to be no beginning and no full stop – everything seems a single tale, enriched here and there with parables, references and comparisons to related stories. I have to admit, it was a good lesson to learn.
The following is a compilation of Credo Mutwa’s answers, regarding his knowledge about the crop circles in Africa. At some points I have taken the chance to add some notes that compare Credo Mutwa’s information to the crop circle phenomenon, at least as far as we currently understand it in the west.
„What you call ‘Crop Circles’ is the same that what the Zulu call „Izishoze Zamatongo“ and which means the designs or the writings of the Gods. We have known about them for more than 4000 years.“
Author’s note: In other parts of the world, recent research has also shown that the crop circle phenomenon is not a contemporary enigma but has probably always been with us. The oldest record of a European crop circle dates back to the year 1590 and was found documented in a French witch-trial case. (MÜLLER / ANDERHUB 2005, 41). Much older reports of discoveries of flattened circular areas of crops and grass have also been found in European and North American folklore-tales, legends and myths (MÜLLER 2001, 10).
„I have seen these things hundreds of times before. (Author’s comment: The alert reader will note that we have a discrepancy here in the numbers given between what is said in the aforementioned book „Isilwane. The Animal“ and in our conversation: In the book Credo Mutwa mentions that he had seen crop circles himself „more than thirty times“ and now he talks about a „hundreds of times“. This discrepancy can be explained in several ways. On the one hand the book was published in 1996, some nine years prior to our conversation and on the other – due to the editing process - there is a difference between a written book by Mr. Mutwa and a vital conversation with him.) These things are very funny... they don’t like the miellies (maize / American corn). They appear on our millet, they appear on our sokka, these are two different kinds of crop. The crop circles like to appear on millet and all sorts of small grain plants. The Gods choose their kind of grain. They don’t like the corn (maize) – Why? – Because with that grain you cannot make a good crop circle on it like you can on millet. So they choose these grains that are native to the country in which they appear. Corn is not native to Africa.“
Author’s note: This might deliver a clue to the question why there have been indeed so very few crop circles in corn/maize in England, Europe and other parts of the world, while a great part of the phenomenon in American countries like USA, Canada, Mexico etc. used just those fields for its canvas.
„If the land is too flat you cannot see what the Gods have been telling us unless you go to a nearby mountain (to have a good vantage point from which to view the design). They don’t destroy the plants. They bend them so that after a time the plant can recover – they don’t want to destroy. This is why those men who say that these are all forgeries are wrong. How can somebody fake something like this without damaging the plants? You can’t! It also takes those who try it many, many hours to do so. This is not the way the Gods make Izishoze.“
What is the Meaning?
„These things they happen to pass important messages to the people through the crops. The Izishoze happen to appear many times when our people are planting the African crop that they called mabele - or sorghum in English. The Gods used to flatten the plants and not to break them. So that after a time when the people have read the message, the plants would stand up again and grow.“
„I have always wanted to have a farm of my own. To watch out for the writings of the Gods because this is intelligence very, very big and whatever these powerful beings are telling us even means that our minds are to stupid to understand. Our modern minds have been corrupted by western civilisation that is refusing to believe that things like the crop circles could be real and important. This is why we do not understand the simple messages anymore.“
„The crop circles also tell us about the situation of the Sun. But why - you may ask – is the Earth Mind telling us about the Sun? The crop circle phenomenon talks of a time of great activity of the sun. But why? Why does this great intelligence, this Mother Spirit, why does it tell us about this thing? When there is trouble in the sun – then what happens to the human beings down here? When there is trouble in the sun there will be also trouble down on earth. And this is why the crop circles are appearing. They even tell us things that will happen in the future. They can also be warnings. For example if there is going to be a war – the crop circles tell us.“
African Crop Circle Traditions
„In the old days, when the Gods put crop circles in our fields the people used to run quickly to take sticks and stones all around the design to mark it out. We wanted that the Gods should say again what they are telling us. This is therefore so that the crop circle does not die and that the Gods will then again respond with another crop circle nearby. This is why sometimes there will be a new crop circle next to an old one.
„This is how the African stone circle monuments came into existence. And this happened all over the worldwide as with Stonehenge, Avebury and the like. The Stonehenge monument you can see today, there used to be a crop circle there. This would have been regarded as a very holy thing so the ancient people marked it with earth, stones and wooden sticks. They are a sort of saying ‚Thank you’ to the intelligence that is behind. They were not built just for decoration. The ancient chiefs, kings and holy people were not fools. They were in tune with the Great Spirits of the earth. They were in tune with the mysteries of the world. They knew more that we give them credit for but they kept the knowledge away from us. Deciphering it in their temples. Therefore you can see so many similarities between the crop circles and ancient sacred art. This is no coincidence.“
Author’s note: The hypothesis that ancient stone circles and henges mark the locations of ancient crop circles, regarded by the people of that time as a scared sign and therefore marked out as a future place of ceremonies, has also been considered by Western crop circle researchers, most notably by research pioneer Dr. Terence Meaden in his book „The Stonehenge Solution“ (MEADEN 1992, 62).
„Here (pointing to a so-called "grapeshot" circle on a picture of a formation) the Gods have given us a sign: This is where they have signed off like a signature. They are saying: Here is the message, over and out. We have to acknowledge the design from here. This is where we have to respond.“
„We have to measure the new formations from one to the other side. The bigger the formations, the more important the message and the closer the date...“
„This is one of the holy things. It is teaching us about the human mind. It also teaches us about the world-mind. We say the earth has got a brain and the brain passes knowledge to the people (through the sacred fields).“
„These crop circles are created by a power which is compassionate. The spirit who makes the crop circles guides human beings, it tells them important things that human beings are not aware of yet.“
Author’s note: Here (as well as with the above discussed idea that the „natural message“ of the circles is too simple for our complicate minds) Credo Mutwa agrees with other traditional and native representatives. Also the Aborigines people of Australia share this very same view. (DOUK 2000)
„Long time ago, when all my sacred items were given to me, I was told that we must always look out for those things, always because this is what the God Spirit - which is the mind of the earth - is telling us about important things about the universe...about what is going to happen.“
„These are things that we Sangomas are called to investigate. I have always wanted to have a farm of my own. To watch out for the writings of the Gods (...)“
„I remember that my grandmother used to say that we must show respect for the crop circles as well as we have to show our respect to the standing stones.“
„The signs do prophesize. They tell us about the future. This is why Sangomas must plant millet because this is the plant the Gods prefer to speak through.“
The Crop Circles in Africa
„If there is going to be a war – the crop circles tell us. These things are warnings.
„Our crop circles in Africa are not only circles; they are just as complicated as the English ones, even more complex sometimes. Our biggest crop circle appeared in Zululand, it was made up of four of them inside a big square and in the centre was a picture, a picture of a gun, a picture of a gun canon. That was just before the terrible Battle of Ulundi in 1879 where the English used artillery pieces and Gatling guns (the first highly successful rapid-repeating firearms) on the Zulus for the very first time.“
Author's note: Back home in Germany I was checking out the available sources
for information and data on the Battle of Ulundi. Whilst reading through the various documents I stumbled upon a detail that had not even been mentioned by Credo Mutwa: Apparently the British troops, consisting of some 17.000 men, marched to the battle in the form of a "hollow square and halted on a low hill about 3km west of Ondini" (www.zululand.kzn.org.za).The crop circle formation appeared to not only predict the weapon used but also the way the British troops were fighting on the top of the hill, firing Gatling guns from inside their protective hollow square of soldiers. Compare these features with the above shown diagram in Fig. 3 and 4.
„They look similar to the English crop circles but sometimes also slightly different. In African crop circles you can sometimes see faces of animals with horns. There are sometimes four: one facing up, one down, one left and the fourth to the right.“
Author's note: It was kind of hard to understand what this formal description would indicate. Finally it seems unclear (at least to the author) if those "animal faces" were more of a direct pictorial character or made of geometrical elements, like described in the following figure:
Fig. 6: Faces of horned animals - from a crop circle point of view this could mean different things: On the one side (l.) it could mean a truly pictorial picture of a horned animals face, like for example the face of a bull. On the other side (m.) such a bull's face can also be created in the way of a pictogram, using basic geometrical figures only. The diagram on the right side shows an artistic interpretation of what the above described formations with four of such animals faces looking in each direction might have looked like. (Diagrams by A. Müller)
„They like grains which are soft and another kind of crops where you see African crop circles is the ‚Monkey Nut’. This has gentle leaves, they are beautiful and there you can see very beautiful crop circles as well. In the Eastern Transvaal I saw such formations in Monkey Nuts (Peanuts - not to be confused with the Cashew- and Paranuts that also have this epithet).
Fig. 7: According to Credo Mutwa, formations like the ones we call „Pendulums“ a typical crop circle variation in England during the early 1990’s (here at Crawley Down, Hampshire, England 13/07/90), are also typical for crop circles in peanut plants as they appear in South Africa’s Eastern Transvaal region. (Diagram by A. Müller)
„But here in South Africa we can also see crop circles in the Sand. Near Cape Town there is a place called „Cradock“, a village, and a small town of white people. In Cradock there is no crop but even now you can see crop circles in the sand.“
„In the Kalahari in Botswana you will see crop circles in the sand. Here the sand is blown away but some of them stay for weeks so that you can still see them long after but not as beautiful as on the millet. Also in Johannesburg where the mines are we find very white sand. This sand is very poisoned – and here we used to see crop circles there – especially after rain...very big ones.“
"They also appear in the sand of the North African deserts, as for example in Egypt."
Author’s note: In fact German UFO-researcher Michael Hesemann reported the very first formation in sand in his book “The Cosmic Connection”. He reported of an observation of air passenger Mrs. Charlotte Wüsthoff of Düsseldorf: On November 11, 1992, she was flying with „Egypt Air“ from Cairo to the Dead Sea. When they were at the height of Port Safaga she looked down onto the desert and saw a mysterious design in the sand. A circle with a mirror-inverted „F“ appendage and a smaller ring around the shaft of the „F“ - a classical crop circle design (HESEMANN 1999). However, it is not known of what the strange design in the desert was made of. Was it carved or blown into the sand, was it painted or marked in any other way?
Fig.8: Diagram of the described "Key" formation in the sand desert near Port Safaga, Egypt, 1992. (Diagram - based on description - by A. Müller)
A desert circle also seems to be visible on a satellite image presented by GoogleEarth. What crop circle researchers would call "a ring with a small satellite circle" can be seen in the sand just about 2 kilometers south of the famous Pyramids of Giza, outside of Cairo. However, so far there has been no ground inspection to this interesting feature in the sand and it is yet unknown when this satellite image was taken.
Fig. 9: A "ring with an outer satellite circle" with a diameter of about 50 meters can be seen on GoogleEarth satellite images of the famous Giza pyramids near Cairo. (Satellite immage by GoogleEarth / DigitalGlobe)
„We also find crop circles in the African grass or in the African savannah like in Kenya where there is a lot of good grass. If you want to see good crop circles – go to Kenya. In Massai Mara were the animals run plenty, plenty. You will see circles in the grass there – just as beautiful as these (pointing to the picture section of my book I brought to him a present).“
Author’s note: Kenyan crop circles seem to be confirmed also by other reports unconnected with Credo Mutwa. The mother of English crop circle researcher Allan Brown, for example, was raised on a farm near the capital Nairobi in the 1950’s. She recalls playing inside flattened circles in her father’s grain fields, a source of great annoyance to him.
„In the Southwest Africa, there the Owambo people of Namibia they plant millet, plenty of millet and there you see crop circles, really funny ones.“
„There is a thing which the Egyptians plant. It is called Bhali and there you see crop circles as well. But the people there they don’t like them.“
(A Mrs. Sharon, another visitor to Credo Mutwa at that time, who was also with us during parts our conversation) added: „If you fly from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park at this time of the year (April) when you look down the whole area of Lyndenburg you will see circles all over.“ Unfortunately the author was unable to tkae an aerial reconnassance flight over the described area.
Crop Circles Credo Mutwa Saw Himself
„I saw my very first crop circle in the Natal region in 1949. It was made of three circles inside each other placed in a field of potao plants“
Fig. 10: The first crop circle Credo Mutwa saw himself: A double-ringed circle in potato plants (r.) in the Natal region of South Africa, 1949. (Diagram: A. Müller, based on Credo Mutwa’s sketch)
„In 1958, again in Natal I saw a huge crop circle in the shape of two circles inside of a triangle“
Fig. 11: Triangular formation seen by Credo Mutwa in 1958 in the Natal region. Left: Credo Mutwa's orginal Sketch. (Diagram: A. Müller / Sketch: Credo Mutwa)
„On farms in Botswana there appeared a number of crop circles – many of them. I was called to go there and that was in 1959. I remember these were on sand and they were on the millet.“
„In the same year when I visited England and saw the large threefold Galaxy crop circle near Avebury (Triple Julia-Set at Windmill Hill, 1996) I also visited a beautiful one in the Eastern Transvaal. It showed a symmetrical pattern inside a ring made of two crescents and inside of each a five-pointed star.“
Fig. 12: Complex geometrical crop circles similar to the patterns we know from England but investigated by Credo Mutwa in 1996 in the Eastern Transvaal. (Diagram: A. Müller, based on Credo Mutwa’s sketch)
„Also our people have observed the crop circles in the making. This is when they have seen the lights, balls of light spinning in the air and on the ground. But then the people moved away because they don’t want the Gods to get angry – they hide in their houses while the Gods are finishing making their messages. These light-phenomena also happen in other places of great holiness.“
Author’s note: Flying lights and things we would call UFOs are also known in the Zulu and ancient African Tradition. They are called „Abahambi Abawutayo“ and Credo Mutwa writes about them also in his book „Song of the Stars“:
„There are things that fly through the night, those you call UFOs, which we in Africa call ‚Abahambi Abavutayo’, ‚the fiery visitors’. Oh yes, Africa has had her own share of UFOs, and she has for many, many centuries, long before they were even heard of on other parts of the world, we, the people of Africa had contact with these things." (MUTWA 1996, 121)
Also similar observations are known to be connected with crop circles worldwide. So-called „Balls of Light“, „Orbs“ or „Luminosities“ were seen by many crop circle enthusiasts over the years. The most spectacular event include even the forming of crop circles as some sort of interaction with the light-phenomena – just as described by Credo Mutwa too.
„Try it one time if a crop circle is still new: Sit right in the centre of it and you will realize funny things. (If it is a genuine crop circle) you will feel as if your head will be pulled upwards and you will feel it to your heart by lying on the ground on your back you will see that your heart is beating strong against the breastbone. Try it.“
„Cameras do also fail inside African crop circles as well, just as I heard it happens in English crop circles ...if the crop circle is still fresh.“
Author’s note: Very similar things to the ones described above are also known from crop circles in other countries and continents.
„Funny enough ‚crop circles’ are not only made by crops. If you put a lot of cattle in your village and they are in a big place you will sometimes find animals forming strange circles and patterns as well.“
Author’s note: Without Credo Mutwa knowing, his strange tale of „cattle circles“ have indeed also been observed and documented in Europe. A satisfactory explanation is still awaited. (DAMERELL 2002)
Meanings of Specific Crop Circles - According to Credo Mutwa
„This formation is horrifying me. That (American) star and the pentagon forming a crop circle.... What on earth happened that day? Was it a war?
Fig. 13: The „Bythorn Mandala“ was discovered on September 5, 1993 at Bythorn in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom. (Photo: Lucy Pringle)
Author’s note: There has been no war directly connected to the date when the formation was formed. However, also Credo Mutwa wondered about the used symbolism: A five-pointed star - a pentagram - inscribed within a pentagon. Both symbols are today deeply connected to US-American warfare. The most direct martial intervention the USA was involved in at this time was the „Second Gulf War“. Appeal: If one of the readers can inform me about a more direct connection between a histrical (war)event and the discovery of the described cop circle formation (September 5, 1993), I would highly appreaciate if you could contact me!
„This is the string of the women because we use the exactly symbol to symbolize the menstruation of a woman ‚Indambo Ghamamba’ (correct spelling unclear) . When an African Woman is having trouble with menstruation she had to have woven such a string in skin and it is exactly the way this is made.“
Fig. 14: The so-called „DNA“ discovered on June 7, 1996 in the East Field, Wiltshire, United Kingdom. (Photo: Steve Alexander)
„To me this is an African stitched knot. It is also the so-called "Grass Basket" and this a game between chiefs and we call it ‚Murambarabathi’ (The Game of God) was only used by the chiefs and not by ordinary people. It is made of grass and I am very surprised! What is an African design doing in an English field?“
Fig. 15: „The Basket“ formation, discovered on August 6, 1999 at Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire, United Kingdom. (Photo: Ulrich Kox)
Credo Mutwa About Hoaxing and Hoaxers
„They (the Gods) don’t destroy the plants. They bend them so that after a time the plant can recover – they don’t want to destroy. This is why those men who say that these are forgeries are wrong. How can somebody fake some thing like this without damaging the plants? You can’t! It also takes those who try it many, many hours to do this...“
Monday, September 2, 2013
Isn't this a most encouraging way to start our week? News we can really use...
and a great show of courage by Hungary, Iceland and Russia in getting rid of the IMF banking parasites. The Truth wave is hitting shore big time. Because what's left of the Dark ones is such desperation, they can't help but make mistakes now...
And instead of the overt control of the population planned for the US and then the rest of the world, they've just left it all way too long! During this period, more and more have and are waking up to who and what 'they' are.
A very inconvenient truth - overlooked!
Expect to see more much-needed rebelliousness.
And please...do send all you have inside of you that all financial whistleblowers around the globe who have risked everything to bring forward truth to us, be protected from the psychos along with each of their family members. Call on God, the archangels, Star Fleet's plasma shield protection or/and whoever you usually call on for the purest Light protection for these brave ones.
Hungary is making history of the first order along with Iceland & Russia.
Not since the 1930s in Germany has a major European country dared to escape from the clutches of the Rothschild-controlled international banking cartels. This is stupendous news that should encourage nationalist patriots worldwide to increase the fight for freedom from financial tyranny.
Last Lap Dance For Rothschild: Iceland’s Viking Victory Over The Matrix Banksters!
President Putin Stamping Out The Rothschild Rockefeller Syndicate Maggots From Russia!
A man holds up a sign during a protest in central Budapest January 2, 2012. The demonstrators are protesting against the government and new Basic Law which replaced the country's Constitution on January 1, in a show of angst at what they say is the ruling Fidesz party's heavy-handed policies. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh (HUNGARY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Keep A Jaundice Eye On Silver Price Especially Thru September 2013: Massive Banking Manipulation ~ We Are At The CUSP!
Already in 2011, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán promised to serve justice on his socialist predecessors, who sold the nation’s people into unending debt slavery under the lash of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the terrorist state of Israel. Those earlier administrations were riddled with Israelis in high places, to the fury of the masses, who finally elected Orbán’s Fidesz party in response.
According to a report on the German-language website “National Journal,” Orbán has now moved to unseat the usurers from their throne. The popular, nationalistic prime minister told the IMF that Hungary neither wants nor needs further “assistance” from that proxy of the Rothschild-owned Federal Reserve Bank. No longer will Hungarians be forced to pay usurious interest to private, unaccountable central bankers
Instead, the Hungarian government has assumed sovereignty over its own currency and now issues money debt free, as it is needed. The results have been nothing short of remarkable. The nation’s economy, formerly staggering under deep indebtedness, has recovered rapidly and by means not seen since National Socialist Germany.
Centralizing America Thru Corporate Banking Power: Remembering Benito Mussolini & Adolph Hitler
The Hungarian Economic Ministry announced that it has, thanks to a “disciplined budget policy,” repaid on August 12, 2013, the remaining €2.2B owed to the IMF—well before the March 2014 due date. Orbán declared: “Hungary enjoys the trust of investors,” by which is not meant the IMF, the Fed or any other tentacle of the Rothschild financial empire. Rather, he was referring to investors who produce something in Hungary for Hungarians and cause true economic growth. This is not the “paper prosperity” of plutocratic pirates, but the sort of production that actually employs people and improves their lives.
The New World Order is “Communism”: Also Known As Rothschildism Or More Bluntly Robbery!
With Hungary now free from the shackles of servitude to debt slavers, it is no wonder that the president of the Hungarian central bank, operated by the government for the public welfare and not private enrichment, has demanded that the IMF close its offices in that ancient European land. In addition, the state attorney general, echoing Iceland’s efforts, has brought charges against the last three previous prime ministers because of the criminal amount of debt into which they plunged the nation.
The only step remaining, which would completely destroy the power of the banksters in Hungary, is for that country to implement a barter system for foreign exchange, as existed in Germany under the National Socialists and exists today in the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, or BRICS, international economic coalition. And if the United States would follow the lead of Hungary, Americans could be freed from the usurers’ tyranny and likewise hope for a return to peaceful prosperity.
Posted by Goldsalchemy at Monday, September 02, 2013