Why the Federal Reserve Isn't So Different From Philadelphia and the Mainline

by James Jaeger

When, in 1995, I read THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND -- the first thought that came to mind is: gee this would make a great documentary film. So I contacted its author, G. Edward Griffin, and he agreed but had reservations as to whether I would be able to get distribution. Nevertheless, Ed courageously granted our company an exclusive option for the movie rights to his book.

Since a film would only cost $150,000 to produce, I figured we would raise the budget in no time. After all, who wouldn't be interested in financing a film about a "bunch of organized crooks" violating the U.S. Constitution and calling themselves the Federal Reserve System -- a New York bank where there ARE no reserves and it's private, not federal?

But, as it turned out, everyone I encountered in the Philadelphia area -- and especially on the conservative Mainline -- seems to love the "organized crooks". Not only do they love and even approve of the "organized crooks," many of them were living off the "organized crooks" and in fact WERE "organized crooks" themselves -- especially those in the major law firms and banks in downtown Philadelphia, the so-called, "Philadelphia Lawyers."

Discovering Ron Paul:

Given this, I started watching C-SPAN to numb the pain of cognative dissonance. On C-SPAN I noticed a guy named Ron Paul frequently arguing with one of the top "organized crooks," Alan Greenspan. So I called Congressman Paul and asked him for an interview. He said YES while all the conservative millionaires, and their fiduciaries, in the Philadelphia/Mainline area continued to say NO.

The only one who said MAYBE was a Philadelphia trust attorney-turned movie producer named William L. Van Alen, Jr. Why "maybe? Because maybe I would continue to attend his weekly Bible class.

But even Bill (who's family founded the multi-billion dollar Atwater Kent Radio Corporation, and rehabilitated the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia) could not raise the budget from his friends at the Philadelphia Racket Club, Episcopal Academy or in Edgemont, where he lived on, and was surrounded by, million-dollar acres and thousands of thoroughbred horses valued at $150,000 to $1 million each. One horse could have been the budget for THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND. I thus remember looking at all those horses every year at the Devon Horse Show and wondering why people in Devon, Pennsylvania, and around the Mainline area, care more about ANIMALS than WE THE PEOPLE. Had I named the movie, THE HORSE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND or HOW THE U.S. CONSTITUTION VIOLATES HORSES, I probably would have been able to raise the full budget in one week.

Funding The CREATURE:

Disappointed in the local citizens -- if you can even CALL them citizens -- I decided to fund the movie myself by cutting back from hot dogs to spaghetti (with no meatballs). Upon this, Bill came through with additional funds so my wife and our two little boys, age 7 and 8, could have hot dogs at least once a week. We were thus able to interview three more people: Ted Baehr, Edwin Vieira and finally G. Edward Griffin himself.

Wow, I now had a 20-minute promo with four experts few people knew, but who I felt deserved to be known for their important work in areas the mainstream media -- and the "organized crooks" in the Philadelphia and Mainline area -- refused to acknowledge.

Thus from 1995 to 2005 I tried to get a professional budget together but the writing was on the wall: no one in the Philadelphia area was going to fund a movie about a "bunch of organized crooks" violating the U.S. Constitution. Why? Because they lived off the "organized crooks" and/or knew and/or went to Bible classes with the "organized crooks" and/or WERE the "organized crooks" themselves.

Thus I realized I was never going to get the budget for a 120-minute feature film about the Fed based on G. Edward Griffin's increasingly popular book. So I did the only thing possible: in 2005 I extended the 20-minute promo into a 59-minute documentary and called it THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND. Even though Ed Griffin had no problem with this -- me pirating his famous title -- one night at 4AM I had a guilt attack and decided to rename the film "FIAT EMPIRE". The subtitle became "How the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution" -- something no one in the "Greater" Philadelphia Film-funding Area gave a crap about.

Releasing a Constitutional Movie:

With FIAT EMPIRE "done," I showed it to everyone I could muster around the Philadelphia, Mainline, Valley Forge and Edgemont areas. Few came to the screenings and few had anything to say after watching the film. Bill's Bible study in Edgemont must have had many "organized crooks" in attendance for FIAT EMPIRE was never screened there even though everyone knew that Bill was the producer and one of our earlier films, IF YOU CAN KEEP IT featuring Peter Lillback, WAS screened at the Bible class. FIAT EMPIRE was like the crazy aunt in the attic; everyone pretended it did'nt exist.

So why DID Bill help fund FIAT EMPIRE, and later ORIGINAL INTENT? I suspect so I would keep going to his Bible class for the moment he was on his death bed his daughter called and immediately cut funding for any films "Bill is involved with." So it's evident to me that Bill's family -- hardcore Philadelphia/Mainliners who didn't happen to sponsor Bible classes either -- certainly had no desire to make films on the U.S. Constitution. I was very disappointed, but saw this as typical. The only way I could fund movies about the U.S. Constitution was to eat hotdogs and attend Bible classes.

So 1,215 hotdogs later, FIAT EMPIRE was done, all 59 minutes of it. I submitted it to Netflix, but they rejected it because their corporate policy stipulated that "all submissions have to be at least 60-minutes long." I submitted it to Sundance, but they ignored it, probably feeling it wasn't progressive enough for Robert Redford. I submitted it to the Telly Association, but all was quiet, there and across the nation. So I got sick and ended up in bed for 3 months with a broken back. I had been writing the de-funded ORIGINAL INTENT script for months and my back gave out from sitting at a keyboard. Then one day, the phone rang (the first time in months), and it was a someone I didn't even know. They said: "Hey, did you hear that FIAT EMPIRE is on Google Video and 500 people have downloaded it?" I didn't know whether to be pissed that someone stole my film or 500 people actually watched it. So I was pissed. Then the next day, I noticed that 500 had grown to 1,000. I was even more pissed. How am I going to sell this film and recoup my hotdog expenses if 1,000 people have already watched it for free? Then the unimaginable happened: FIAT EMPIRE started suddenly getting downloaded by about 1,000 people every day. The 1,000 went up to 2,000 and then 4,000 people per day until the film ended up at the #1 most watched film on the Internet (and it would stay there, competing with "Fire Fart," for about 6 months).

Then, as I lay in bed, I received a letter from the Telly Association notifying me that they had granted FIAT EMPIRE a Telly Award. My back didn't feel quite so bad. Over the next year the Google Video stats indicated that FIAT EMPIRE was downloaded over a million times, some say 5 million. It's difficult to say because the hit-counter was returned to zero when YouTube absorbed all of Google Video's films.

The Why:

Over the years, I have analyzed the reason FIAT EMPIRE went viral and was acknowledged by a Telly. I have come to the conclusion that it is mainly because elements of the Left AND the Right are on-board with the theme that the Federal Reserve is a bunch of "organized crooks." As we state in the film itself "the Federal Reserve System is a quasi-private, government-sanctioned banking cartel." The key word here is "quasi-private."

When the Left reads this description of the Fed, it interprets the term "quasi-private" as "mostly private" and when the Right reads the term "quasi-private" it interprets this term as "mostly governmental." Thus both see only what they want to see. The Fed is either a "bunch of unregulated banking corporations" or the Fed is a "bunch of statists running roughshod over the free market." The Left thus wants to give issue authority of money to the state, and the right wants issue authority to remain with banks or some world bank.

Which ever camp you are in, watch FIAT EMPIRE at and if you feel we were on to something back in 2005, check out our new film in production entitled MOLON LABE at

FIAT EMPIRE is about the power of the Purse. MOLON LABE is about the power of the Sword. MOLON LABE is designed to be a primer on the Second Amendment just as FIAT EMPIRE was designed to be a primer on Article I. Both powers must be in the hands of WE THE PEOPLE otherwise we are headed for tyranny and totalitarian government.

One of the reasons the Republican Party is disintegrating is because conservatives don't make movies: even if the entire country is becoming a police state.

As my experience with the conservative Mainline shows, conservatives would rather rot and die than spend a nickel on promoting something they are supposed to believe in. Given this I am happy that they ARE rotting and dying as they are quickly being replaced by the more realistic Libertarians. Unfortunately the Libertarians don't have as much money, but it's only a matter of time. If the Democrats and Progressives really wanted to hasten the demise of the GOP, they would find points of agreement with Libertarians and fund the hell out of their projects, especially movie projects (and fuck you if you think there is anything more important to fund). I for one disdain people who are so stingy and short sighted they feel their HORSE is more important than their COUNTRY.

So don't be stupid and act like the people in the Philadelphia, Mainline and Edgemont areas that are clueless about their heritage and irresponsible about their duties to support important films and issues. You are better than that, and I know that for a fact because hundreds of you have already stepped forward to help get these films done. YOU shall inherit the Earth, NOT Conservatives.

17 March 2013

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