The Rise and Fall of Civilizations

December 1, 2001

PART III

COMMENTARY ON PAST & PRESENT X WAVES

General Commentary On Previous X Wave Declines

Throughout history, nomads have lived outside the urban civilizations, roaming in search of pasture and changing location with the seasons. Semi-nomads also migrate seasonally, but maintain a base camp where crops are cultivated. Typically, contact with advanced urban populations was dichotomous. On one hand, the nomads desired the products of civilization - weapons, tools, clothing and utensils - which desire encouraged trade with the cities, as well as more personal interactions through which the nomads might absorb a measure of the urban culture. Yet they also tended to view the outlying farms established in order to support the city population as both a threat to their traditional freedom to roam wherever they wanted as well as a handy source of livestock and other plunder.

For much of the time, raids would have been uncoordinated and sporadic, performed by nomadic families rather than whole tribes or coalitions of tribes, thus drawing minor punishment in return. On more rare occasions, when a leader arose among the nomads who saw an opportunity as a result of some weakness in the urban civilization, the nomads became united in their assault on it and could overwhelm it militarily.

In cases where the nomads had no or limited positive interaction with their urban neighbors, they would have tended to be indifferent to, often contemptuous of and even antagonistic towards the civilization. In those cases, when an attack was successful, the conquered civilization would be destroyed and its culture lost and its land area again converted to open pasturage for the nomads' herds.

On the other hand, where the nomads absorbed a large dose of culture (becoming "Romanized barbarians" as it were), they envied, even admired many aspects of that civilization. In such cases, victorious nomads, the new over lords, would have come to use much of the culture and customs of the civilization they have conquered, even to the extent of adopting its language.

Often a conquest by barbarians introduced a new vibrancy into what had become a stale and jaded society, which then stimulated cultural and often new military developments. The migration of many aspects of the Sumerian civilization, first to the Akkadians, then to the Babylonians, and finally to the Assyrians, followed this basic pattern.

When a conquering nation is itself of high civilization, on the other hand, the reverse usually occurs, and the vanquished nation is the one that gets absorbed and over time loses much of its language and traditions. Civilization continues without disruption, even though the culture of the conquered nation or civilization gradually dissipates.

Some critics of 12 000 Years of Elliott Waves asked how could we say things were advancing when some nations were eliminated during an advance. This explains it. A civilization is likely to be comprised of multiple nations. One or more nations may fall during the course of an advancing wave of progress, and effectively disappear from history, but so long as the conqueror possessed as high or even higher civilization than the conquered nation(s), civilization itself does not decline due to the war. War that results in the destruction of nations can occur during advancing waves, largely because the conquered population continues to flourish and partake in commerce as before, but now as vassals of the conqueror.

That is why, throughout history, the threat from the true and committed nomad has proven a greater danger to civilization than wars between civilized nations. When such nomads, or 'barbarians', as these were regarded by others who considered themselves more civilized, gathered in force to conquer a nation or civilization, all the progress previously made by the conquered kingdom or empire was disrupted and lost.

But the key question remains: how and why did these nomads win? These are the same nomads, remember, that had been held at bay for centuries, while civilization made more and more progress, and its component nations grew in size, technology, and military might. Yet the 'barbarians' did overwhelm civilization on three occasions now, when its component nations were seen to be right at the peak of imperial power and glory.

Cycles At Work

There appears to be a natural order to things, of waxing strong, then waning again, just as the Elliott Wave principle advises. This natural order includes empires and kingdoms and also civilizations, which have their own life cycle. They pass through the exuberance of youthfulness into a vibrant maturity and then, later, as old age approaches, comes a time when strength is sapped by carousing and feasting, and purpose is blunted by excesses and circuses. It is then the empire becomes vulnerable to any threat that may materialize from outside its borders - often, as history shows, in the form of barbarians who have long either envied or despised the life of luxury and opulence enjoyed by the people of the empire, but whose previous attacks were easily repulsed and punished.

History shows two things are needed for the walls to finally fall. First is weakness on the part of the empire, or civilization; weakness that results when pursuit of pleasure becomes the main purpose of being for the leaders and the citizens, no longer the reward for achieving success in other, more important areas of national endeavor, such as ensuring internal stability, maintaining external security and the creation of material wealth.

Secondly, in addition to internal weakness and, generally, moral decadence, on which more later, there has to be the outside threat; the barbarians who have made it their objective to topple the empire - either to obtain and enjoy its wealth or to overthrow and destroy it as a perceived threat to their historic way of nomadic life.

Rome is a case in point. It took seven centuries of dedicated work to transform a village on the Tiber into the capital of the world. Perhaps two centuries passed while Romans could enjoy the proceeds of the achievements and conquests of their forefathers - a period during which they came to rely more and more on others to do their work for them, in return for sharing in the wealth and status of Rome. Mercenaries fought Rome's battles and maintained the Pax Romana; the provinces grew the food and provided the other essentials required to keep the Roman populace fed, tame and obedient; and also the slaves to do the work and the men for the spectacles of the circuses.

Romans themselves first grew fat and lazy and, later, decadent, confident in the belief that they were the elite of the world and that they could have and enjoy anything they wanted. Intrigue and pursuit of fleeting pleasures became the daily routine of the wealthy; the daily issue of bread and the regular fun and games of the Coliseum were high points for ordinary citizens of Rome.

This is an important observation: from the perspective of the Roman citizens of this later period, they were still the elite, still able to enjoy the apex of luxury and power, even though by then the seeds of the destruction of Rome already had been sown, had germinated and were growing rapidly in the fertile soil of decadence and corruption. The battle was already being lost long before the barbarians came knocking on the gates.

During the final two centuries of Rome's existence as the imperial capital of the world, its borders shrank progressively under increasingly confident assaults from outside. As we know, success breeds success and draws support from those who earlier may have been uncommitted. As time passed, Rome's inability to keep the waves of intruders at bay became more evident, which meant attacks became more confident until, finally, Attila stood at the gates, while the Goths, Visigoths and the rest were mustering their forces in the north in preparation for their own attacks on what remained of the Roman Empire, as described in greater detail in Part II.

Conclusions From The Roman Example

A key point of Rome's history, and of some of the empires preceding it, is that when the citizens of an empire become too comfortable, too corrupt, too caught up in the pursuit of pleasure and personal power, too reliant on others to do their work and to fight their wars, these are the danger signs. They warn of a moral slackness in society, the loss of values and a decline in resolve that in times past had ensured both the survival of society and its material success.

One could say that, viewed from a perspective of ethical norms and values, a new barbarism has to arise within the civilization, sapping it of earlier strength, before it becomes vulnerable to an outside threat, which, when it does come, induces panic and fear among the population, rather than a common and firm resolve among all citizens.

In the past, when these changes had set in - when it was seen as self-evident that the citizens of the empire, purely by virtue of their citizenship, had a right to privilege, that they were first among the nations not on the grounds of what they themselves were achieving, but of what previous generations had achieved, when long held norms and moral values were discarded as old fashioned and it became accepted that anything goes; in other words, when there are barbarians within the walls - it was time for the other barbarians outside the walls to come knocking. And there is no reason to think that this has changed.

During the final phase of increasing vulnerability, it seems that government itself lost direction. Intrigue and political infighting in pursuit of personal power became the main occupation, while career administrators had to keep the wheels turning over. Appearance became more important than substance on the political stage, while behind the scenes the power brokers were at work to further the aims of the elite at the cost of everyman.

Even so, it took Rome two centuries of decadence and dissolution, of corruption and debased currency, to finally become so vulnerable that Alarik and his barbarians could knock down the gates and sack Rome. This long time also means, when the above signs first become evident in a civilization, that there is still time to rectify the situation before it is too late - provided one can read the signs correctly when they appear, and then be able to muster the necessary support to change history in the making.

Historically, however, the odds are against it being done. Complacency rules and the pursuit of pleasure and political power becomes so pervading that nobody watches the signs and, when someone does warn of what lies ahead, no one listens.

It should be noted that most matters, economically and otherwise, have speeded up substantially since the time of the Caesars, with the highest rate of change now evident in modern industrial society. What has taken two centuries or more to develop back then, may well be compressed into mere decades today. With indications that the kind of moral collapse typical of the peak of Roman power, and even more so of the last two centuries of Rome, may already have started during the second half of the 20th Century.

(With regard to complacency - or is it a mental straight jacket? - in the institutional mindset, read the book, The March of Folly by historian Barbara Tuchman - a treatise of how people in power continued to adhere to policies that were demonstrably counter productive and even plain stupid. Persisting with folly is a very human trait that is not restricted to those parts of history she deals with in her book, but is still prevalent in the institutional mindset today. A very good read.)

As hinted above, we of the West today have a situation not far different from 2000 years ago. Our civilization is in a similar position to Rome: rich, successful and powerful. Much of the rest of the world is poor and far less developed, by comparison - the 'new' barbarians beyond the borders. But something else is happening too: western culture is in flux; Until quite recently, it was characterized by a more strict, conservative outlook on life with a strong work ethic and relatively strict moral values, that are now often seen as narrow minded and old fashioned. The new dogma since the 1960's is one where nearly anything goes as long as it gives pleasure or brings riches. But it has to do so right away. Today, not next week. Instant fun and instant profit are what counts for a culture in which honesty and integrity have become less important than spin and enjoyment and making the next dollar. With little regard for the effect our actions will have on our children.

The signs are clearly evident, as they were in Rome in the years after about 200 AD. The bell is tolling for western civilization, but there is still time to correct the situation. If: if the signs are heeded in time and if people are willing to accept the drastic measures that will be required to remedy the problem and eradicate its causes.

Unfortunately, two very unlikely if's.

Which calls for an evaluation of the current threats to the status quo.

Barbarians - Without And Within

The obvious part of the theme so far is that empires sooner or later become vulnerable to attack from outside, typically by nomads, people who do not enjoy the material fruits of civilization. But empires are not vulnerable at the height of their military and economic power; they only become vulnerable when in pursuit of instant gratification they gradually lose the will to defend that which they have earned, to fight for what they have built. When they start to pay others to fight their wars, because they no longer have the moral resolve themselves to risk life and limb for what they hold dear, including such intangibles such as morals and values.

When anything and everything that used to be important and valued to earlier generations are being traded and offered up for safety and security and the continued pursuit of instant gratification.

We believe that is when an external threat to the empire is assisted by barbarians within the empire who do their little bit to ensure the final collapse. Not on purpose, though, purely out of self interest and the pursuit of policies that contains the seeds of their own destruction. In this respect it is interesting to see what were the main pre-occupations of nations and civilizations past that contributed to their eventual weakness and collapse.

Old Egypt had a fixation on the afterlife; a large part of the efforts of all the people went into preparations for what followed after death. It can be reasoned that this effort to construct edifices for survival of the body after death was a way to keep the population occupied between the seasons of planting and harvesting, dictated by the rising and ebbing of the Nile. Yet, over time the resources of the empire were used in a manner that was not conducive for its maintenance and survival, and made it increasingly vulnerable to threats from outside.

The main concern of the rulers of Rome, at the peak of its power, was to keep the citizens loyal - they perceived a greater threat from within than without. Their objective was to keep the large Roman populace happy and well fed. In due course it was easier to hire mercenaries from the provinces to man the Legions and protect the borders than to expect Roman citizens to take up arms. And later it became obligatory of any Caesar who desired to retain the laurel crown to ensure that there is enough bread for the populace and frequent entertainment at the Coliseum.

Of all major kingdoms, the elite of Royal France was characterized by perhaps the most intense pursuit of hedonistic enjoyment of pleasure and luxury in all its forms, with the possible exception of Russia under Catharine the Great, with little regard to the welfare of the people on whose effort the riches of the kingdom and its defense depended. And in due course the inevitable happened: after effectively bankrupting the state, the ruling families and aristocracy of both countries fell to threats from within, when the population could no longer accept the conditions under which they lived - an extreme remedy, perhaps, and almost to be expected when there were no handy barbarians on the outside who could take advantage of the worsening conditions within.

History has shown that among all powerful peoples, when the creation of real wealth and true economic power is neglected, when the belief that the status quo is pre-ordained and will last forever, when what happens today becomes more important than what will be the situation tomorrow and next year, and when enjoying life becomes more important than preserving values such as honesty, fairness and integrity, when those in power find that they have to deceive and defraud the man on the street in order to protect their own personal wealth and power - when all that happens, the peak has been passed and the end is not far off.

And the same still applies today.

In contrast to those on the outside, waiting for the right moment of weakness, the barbarians within have all the trappings of civilization; the comforts, the sophisticated speech, the nice manners and most of all a persuasive tongue. All this while they almost invariably follow the age-old practice of debasing the currency in order to maintain their personal wealth and position of power. And ensuring through the spectacle of the circus and the distribution of bread, or their equivalents, that the man on the street is content with this situation.

We believe such a cycle is again in place, with western civilization caught in the same trap as before; the belief it can do no wrong; that it can enjoy life at the expense of others, including its own future generations, and - of critical importance as a common symptom of decadence - that abuse of the money system can solve all immediate problems.

Until relatively recently, previous experiences of monetary turmoil that result from the use and abuse of fiat currencies have kept most governments relatively honest through adherence to a gold standard. However, as has also happened numerous times in the past, the cost of having to pay for wars and for the luxury enjoyed by the power elite exceed what comfortably can be raised through taxes. The recourse is, as always, to run up government debt and finally to debase the currency. In previous times, governments used copper and other metals to reduce the precious metal content of the coinage or, on occasion, ran the printing press to inflate the money supply. Today, of course, the computer accomplishes this much easier and faster than ever before.

Enough has been said about the other changes that take place when an empire becomes rotten at the core and, over time, becomes vulnerable to assault from without. The reader can look around at what is happening in the western world for growing examples of these and other warning signs of imminent vulnerability to threats from outside - and within.

Of course, one could easily, like the Romans of the 3rd and 4th Centuries, laugh off the implication that the decline is already in place. Surely the US and the west in general are at their historic peak of economic and military power, and still rising. More people enjoy more wealth than ever before. Disease is being eradicated. Technology is ascendant and promises more advantageous change than we have seen in the previous 2,000 years. The world is bound to become a better place with governments that are so caring about the lives and wealth of their citizens!

But look more carefully at what is really happening in society just around you before you finally decide. Also take a close look at the fears and aspirations of the rest of the world to see how the "nomads" out there are viewing Western Civilization - with envy and desire for its material riches, or with disgust and fear for the threats it poses to their life style.

And keep in mind that in more senses than one the nature of the world we used to know really did change substantially from what we had known before September 11, 2001.

To employ Sir Winston Churchill's words, what happened on that day was not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning. It marks the end of the belief that what goes on in the hinterland of the world - in poor and backward countries with no economy to speak of and with no military power and with very little of what is elsewhere accepted as the essential basics of modern civilization - can be disregarded by all those large industrial nations who regularly get together at the G-something meetings of the world in order to decide its future.

There really are new 'barbarians" on the outside, just waiting for the barbarians within to do all the necessary damage before they decide to strike.

The World Ahead - Oil And Global Warming

So what is to come? Not this year or next, but over the foreseeable future. Developments that could bring about the long lasting decline written in the patterns of the Elliot Wave, as explained in our earlier work, 12,000 Years of Elliot Waves.

In our initial analysis we discussed a number of possible factors that could contribute to a new Dark Age. Two of them, at the time, were mentioned as mere possibilities, but in less than three years have become high probabilities. These are global warming and the depletion of the global oil reserve.

This shows that the pace of change is accelerating. Before the new digital millenium kicked off, supporters of the thesis of global warming were seen as mavericks, people who are sensation seekers rather than good scientists. Now, scarcely two years later, it is common wisdom. Two years ago the reaction of the US government to pleas for preventive action was that "Global warming is unproven". Now this has become "We cannot afford to act as it will harm our economy."

The good life of the present is taking precedence over the unknown damage that is being done to the world our children will inhabit. A classical symptom!

With respect to oil, guess who has control over the major portion of the known global oil reserve? Just consider how easily that reserve can be exploited as a weapon of economic war by the leaders of the barbarians responsible for September 11. And if that weapon is used, will Russia, China and the rest of Asia and others stand by while the western coalition bomb and blast its new 'enemy' into submission?

It does not even call for open use of oil as a weapon to trigger a new crisis. While we are building up to the peak of oil production there is no real bottle neck to curb supply. Oil seems plentiful and apparent shortages are only artificial, to maintain the price. A parallel over a much shorter time scale is the bull market in Nasdaq that seemed so inexorable, with corrections perceived only as times to buy. Even the first part of the bear market after the March 2000 top was widely accepted as an opportunity to gather more resources to pick up bargains. It took quite a long time for most people to accept a bear market and then every significant rally became the start of a new bull market as people refused to admit they had been so wrong.

In the same way, once the peak in oil production is past, it would seem logical that the initial decline in oil production will not be accepted for what it is, but be taken as a plot among producers to hold the world at ransom. Reaction will be violent once the reduced supply begins to bite into the developed economies, and the oil producers may well be cast as the new 'enemies', alongside old and new terrorists. But it can be expected that once over the peak, oil production will decline quite rapidly. Military action to resolve the problem and punish the 'enemy' probably will only make matters worse and will not end the severe disruption of industrial economies that by then will be inevitable.

For more on this topic of the depletion of oil reserves, there is a recently published book: Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage by Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Princeton University Press. In addition, a discussion of the situation can be found on the internet at this address: http://www.dieoff.org/synopsis.htm and other articles at that website.

On global warming, the internet provides ample reading material by using any search engine. If the Kyoto protocol on limiting emission of hothouse gases is accepted by enough countries to bring it into force, a possible development for 2002, the whole matter will draw more attention in the media as well. And the pressure on the US to join in the effort will escalate.

To these two main culprits from our earlier work we can now add two more: Terror, the weapon of the new barbarians, and the effect it will have on the circumstances under which many of us in the West will live from now on. Circumstances that undoubtedly and in due course will change dramatically from what we have known for much of the 20th century and before.

Now that the weapon of Terror has been demonstrated, consider the following:

If you, the reader, lived in a country that is literally disappearing below a rising ocean or if the once fertile lands where your forefathers and you have long lived a good if frugal life turned into a dust bowl, because weather patterns are changing, to leave your children with no future - what would you do to attract attention to what has happened, or even to have revenge on those you believe to be responsible? Who would you blame for what is happening to you, your friends, your land, your children - the ruin of all you hold dear? How long before you act? And what would you do?

Given what happened on September 11, it is conceivable that others will consider similar actions. But even if they don't, what happened on that day has adjusted the balance of power in the world. The 'have nots' can no longer be summarily relegated to the back benches of the meetings and forums, where they can make all the noise they want, but no one listens, just because they are seen as powerless. They no longer are.

For the sake of speculation assume that countries directly affected by the first evidence of global warming - mostly the less affluent equatorial and oceanic countries, many in Asia - decide to use their new influence to compel the industrial giants to a tight schedule of reducing the emission of substances that enhance global warming. As might already be happening with the Kyoto protocol and which should become increasingly rigorous as the pace of global warming picks up.

Using their new found influence as well as economic and perhaps energy sanctions to enforce their will. And if that does not work, nobody listens and their conditions continue to worsen, would it come as a surprise if out of desperation these countries begin to foster extremist groups that pursue similar methods to those responsible for September 11? It is well known that doing so does not cost much in funds or technology and that it has enormous effect. And desperate people care less about the consequences.

The Barbarians Within

And then there is the second of our culprits, the other force at work to establish the conditions necessary for a successful assault from outside - our western governments and the internal policies they have been following for at least the past 30 years, if not longer. Policies that after the events September 11 will be accelerated and extended to make their own people more safe, more obedient, more controlled, more spendthrift and, hopefully, more happy. While it lasts.

Debasing the purchasing power of their currencies and escalating the amount of debt that will have to be paid by later generations - all in pursuit of the happy life and all that entails. A life to be enjoyed to the full right now and damn the consequences.

Very much as happened in Rome during the final decades of its existence as the world capital of its time. And, since people tend to behave so similarly when circumstances are similar, probably reflecting what has happened at other times in the past.

Do not expect this all to happen over the next few months or even a few years. Also do not accept our word for it. Just keep watching; it is really taking place.

What To Do

If you have read this far without casting this aside as mere ranting by the prophets of doom, the odds say that you are more likely to be older than 40, rather than young and optimistic about the future of the world as you have grown to know it over relatively few years. A world that over recent time has changed to be markedly different from the one us older folks grew up in, when we were young or younger, which gives us the needed perspective to be aware that significant change is really taking place. This also means that, if already well past the age of 40 at the time when this is being written, you are unlikely to live long enough to experience - or would 'endure', or perhaps 'suffer' be more appropriate? - the more severe effects of the changes now beginning to take place.

Yes, since September 11 air travel might have become less attractive than before and other events, to happen still, might put us off other occupations and locations we now take for granted. Oil and its products might become even more expensive, making life that little more arduous, particularly for western civilization. We might have to be more careful of social places where people gather in numbers and of official buildings, as the citizens of Northern Ireland had became accustomed to do. These are relatively minor adjustments, shocking as the terrible events had been; and as others are likely to be. So far, though, it has been relatively easy to adjust our life style and our customs, while life goes on much as before.

But the main crunch, when the fabric of a stable society begins to really unravel, is likely to come when many of us are no longer around to be affected by what is happening. However, our children, and theirs, our grandchildren, undoubtedly will live into and, hopefully, through these vastly more uncertain times.

Left to their own devices they will not be fully prepared for what lies ahead; prevented by their too short perspective on life from anticipating what awaits them; developments will sneak up on them without them realizing where it is all leading to and how it will end. New crises will descend on them and by the time they realize what is happening it will be too late to do anything in response, either to help turn the tide, or to search for means to avoid becoming victims of rapid and violent change.

Which means the responsibility to think and plan on their behalf rests with us - until our understanding the changes actually taking place are able to convince even them of what needs to be done. The two courses of action being to do something effective to prevent the coming crisis, or else doing enough to improve the chances for personal survival.

Taking the necessary steps to turn matters around and prevent these scenarios from developing is, however, the province of governments, not of individuals or small groups. Only concerted government action can substantially delay or hope to reverse the trends towards disaster, as discussed above.

Measures to reduce global warming, to conserve oil and to promote alternative sources of electrical power; to induce a less flamboyant and energy consuming life style; to avoid policies that provoke extreme reaction from fundamentalists, of whatever kind; on the other hand, to pursue policies that will result in a balanced, debt free society with sound money, thereby giving our children a fair start on life - these are the things only governments can do.

But individuals and small groups can make a noise. Perhaps, if enough of us do so, in due course, and hopefully in time enough, governments can change.

So, citizens, raise your voices and vote your convictions. Write your congressman and other representatives, local and national. Inform them of your concerns and tell them about the danger signs already apparent in society. Keep on doing so. Convince your family and friends and colleagues of the danger and muster them to do the same. Perhaps we can help ignite a ground swell of nation-wide and civilization wide concern that really can change what governments are doing wrong.

But don't bet on it. Read The March of Folly, referred to earlier, and do the necessary yourself to prepare for the worst. Before it is too late.

If the worst does not happen, much of this effort would be wasted. But the alternative of doing nothing, carries great personal risk. Treat the situation as one considers short term insurance of one's household effects - essential protection against possible, not certain, loss due to fire or theft or other risks. Nobody really takes out insurance only when it is certain that loss will occur, but because there is a probability of suffering a loss.

For all of us, as individuals and our children, the probability that the world will end up in the kind of mess that the Elliot Wave foretells - 100 years or more of severe and very traumatic difficulties - is much, much greater than of being robbed or burgled or losing all one owns in a fire.

So start looking around. Start thinking. But also do something. Even if it is only to prepare yourself for what may lie ahead.

Before barbarism descends on us all again.

FINAL SUMMARY

The rise and fall of many civilizations throughout recorded history is an established fact. The historical record covering these events is voluminous. The goal of the authors' original article, 12,000 Years of Elliott Waves, was to demonstrate that the rise and fall of these civilizations and nations can be fitted into long term waves within the Elliott Wave Principle. The objective of this article you have just read was to explore the nature and extent of previous X Wave declines as a reference base for where we stand within this Elliott framework in the year 2001 and to theorize what this means for the future of mankind in the years and decades of the 21st Century.

The conclusion drawn by the authors from their research is that the Elliott Wave Principle does indeed fit the rise and fall of civilizations over the past 12,000 years. In addition, the evidence shows that in this Elliott Wave progression we have reached a point in the years between 1998 and 2001 where we have ended a 1,000-year X Wave bull market advance. The vital message that fact sends to modern humans is that we are now at the very beginning of a substantial economic decline that will last up to 100 years if history is used as our guide.

Two final goals of this effort were first to suggest reasons why such a dramatic decline can happen, and secondly to suggest some actions that can be taken to ameliorate the problems and suffering this decline will engender. In neither of these last two goals do we suggest that the items we list are the only possible ones. This list of possibilities is much too long to include them all, even if we knew what all of them were. New ones will emerge over time, such as the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

You the reader must decide how well we have done our work and how persuasive our evidence is for the conclusions we have reached. Each of the authors has decided in his own mind that our work is accurate and that the conclusions we have reached are sound. We offer it to you for your consideration.

Part I

Part II

By:
Joseph M. Miller - jmiller585@home.com
Daan Joubert - daanj@kingsley.co.za
Marion Butler - juneb01@msn.com

COPYRIGHT 1999 - 2001 By JOSEPH M. MILLER, DAAN JOUBERT and MARION BUTLER

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The periodic symbol for gold is AU which come from the Latin for gold aurum.