"Like a Blind Man in a Dark Room Looking for a Black Hat which isn't there"

May 13, 2004

For many months now I have been spending many long, enjoyable and fruitful hours reading hundreds of excellent essays in the modern day equivalents of the public library. These websites, their owners and contributors are similar to Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg which lead to the Reformation. There are also analogous to the pamphleters of the American Revolution.

Bernard Bailyn in his book "The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution" puts it brilliantly, "For the Revolutionary generation, as for its predecessors back to the early sixteenth century, the pamphlet had peculiar virtues as a medium of communication. The pamphlets include all sorts of writings -- treatises on political theory, essays on history, political arguments, sermons, correspondence, poems -- and they display all sorts of literary devices. But for all their variety they have in common one distinctive characteristic: they are, to an unusual degree, explanatory. They reveal not merely positions taken but the reasons why positions were taken."

Then, as now, it was seen that the pamphlet allowed one to do things that were not possible in any other form. He quotes from George Orwell, ("Introduction", in George Orwell and Reginald Reynolds, eds., British Pamphleteers):

The pamphlet [George Orwell, a modern pamphleteer, has written] is a one-man show. One has complete freedom of expression, including, if one chooses, the freedom to be scurrilous, abusive, and seditious; or, on the other hand, to be more detailed, serious and "high-brow" than is ever possible in a newspaper or in most kinds of periodicals."

Excellent and informative websites such as www.gold-eagle.com, www.lemetropolecafe.com, www.lewrockwell.com, www.dailyreckoning.com, www.financialsense.com, www.321gold.com, www.prudentbear.com, www.depression2.tv, www.urbansurvival.com, www.fiendbear.com, www.truthout.org, www.silver-investor.com, www.zealllc.com, www.usagold.com and many others are the modern equivalent of Luther's scroll or the American pamphleteers. And I am not exaggerating when I say that they have in effect given me a free financial, economic and monetary education.

The musings of the many wonderful minds who preach to goldbugs, contrarians, re al anarchists, real patriots, conservatives and republicans, moralists, real believers in genuine free markets, solution seekers and a combination of them all, have had a significant impact on my worldview and indeed the direction in which my life is going.

The opinions and viewpoints presented to me were quite radical and alien to me and yet instinctively I knew there to be a great amount of truth in the writings of the contributors to these websites. I was fascinated by these people who challenged my orthodox and conditioned view that gold was lusted after by obsessed and greedy goldbugs. And that gold and silver were 'barbarous relics' of some bygone era when the world had not become accustomed to the marvelous technological sophistication of the 'New Economy'.

I am a young man who has had a conventional education here in Ireland, getting a B.A. in History and Greek and Roman Civilisation. I have always had a desire to know why things happened the way they did and do and how the world works. Thus I have always had a voracious appetite for news and current affairs and read large parts of a few newspapers and financial magazines nearly every day.

In my university years I read a broad range of opinions ranging from dissidents such as Mohandas Gandhi, George Orwell, John Pilger, Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal on one end of the spectrum to the editorial pages of the Economist, Financial Times and Wall Street Journal at the other. However, no matter what I read and how much I read of the beliefs and theories of the so called 'left' and so called 'right', for some reason I knew that I was only scratching the surface of our amazingly complicated material world.

Only extremely rarely in all my readings did the topics of money and where does money come from, what should constitute money and what does our present monetary system consist of, arise.

Everywhere was a blind adherence to the present monetary paradigm whereby the dollar, which I belatedly discovered to be merely a paper fiat currency, is the monopoly currency in which all commodities are priced (hence petrodollar recycling), the means of exchange for the majority of financial transactions in the world and the major global reserve asset of the Central Banks of the world. This paradigm was the accepted, indeed only, wisdom 'dictated from on high'. Everything flowed from this official maxim or truth and from this all else must follow. It seemed anyone who questioned this paradigm was soon branded a heretic and banished to the fringes of our mass media world - to the brave new frontier of the internet.

In all my reading and studies, only once did I come across a serious debate or study on currency debasement and it's disastrous long term effects on society and that was while studying the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in university. Even then it was nearly always treated minimally and as if it was a symptom of the decline of the Roman Empire rather than a fundamental cause, as profound as the classic imperial overstretch and consequent 'barbarian invasions'. And drawing parallels with today's modern imperial hyper-power were somewhat frowned upon.

Only very occasionally, very briefly and very superficially did I come across any analysis of what money or currency is. With hindsight I realise only too well why this sensitive issue might not be debated in the 'Halls of Academia' or amongst our high priests of the 'left' or 'right' in the mainstream financial press. No point in alerting the great unwashed masses of humanity to the gigantic fraud being perpetrated on them right under their noses.

Thus, it was with great pleasure that I began devouring the extensive content my new online public libraries and soon so many pieces of the mysterious jigsaw puzzle of our material world began to fall into place. Like the mass of humanity today and indeed throughout the millennia I wa s as in a certain Lord Bowen's words, "like a blind man in a dark room - looking for a black hat - which isn't there".

I had been blinded with the science of the mass media's and contemporary culture's mumbo-jumbo and therefore could not see the woods from the trees. Interestingly mumbo-jumbo is, according to the Chambers Dictionary "a god, hobgoblin or boogie man of West Africa; any object of foolish worship or fear; mummery, foolish ritual; baffling jargon" and my favourite "professional gobbledygook"; God knows there is a hell of a lot of professional gobbledygook around these days. And unfortunately "when the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch". Gospel of Matthew.

I would like to thank you all for the wonderful education and enlightenment I have received from your excellent websites. Although, we all use the internet everyday we often can overlook the powerful impact which our words have on the world around us and on a small yet growing global consciousness. All great ideas or movements inevitably are rejected by the inert status quo and an established order frightened of change. Thus, ideas such as new bi-metallic or tri-metallic 'gold standards' must take seed on the fringes of society before very gradually being received as accepted wisdom. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win," as Mohandas Gandhi wisely put it.

The knowledge imparted to me has encouraged me to set up Gold and Silver Investments Limited, a precious metals investment company. My motives are in order to pay the increasingly costly bills (Ireland is incredibly expensive these days with significant inflation), provide Irish people with the opportunity to invest in probably the safest asset in the world and hopefully to impart some of the knowledge, gained during my recent 'reeducation', to the Irish people and hopefully even to the wider European society.

It has been a difficult week or two for believers in precious metals after the recent pullbacks in gold, silver and platinum. But I am fairly confident that in the fullness of time this will be looked on as a mere statistical blip when compared with the unfolding multi year bull market in gold.

The world is in a state of constant flux and continuous change and there is nothing so certain in life as uncertainty. None of us know what the coming years will bring. One must be wary both of the innocent and rose tinted view that the US and hence the global economy are just fine and the good times are about to roll again. On the other side of that coin we must be wary of fearmongers and prognosticators of doom whose only message seems to be 'resistance is futile'. Edward R. Murrow warned us not to be "driven by fear into an age of unreason", and we must always remember that where there is a problem there is always a solution.

I believe that even the denizens of these wonderful websites may be surprised at how valuable one ounce of gold becomes in dollar terms in the coming years. I could be wrong about this and indeed hope I am, but whether right or wrong it does not negate the fact that gold, silver and platinum are the ultimate safe haven assets and everyone should invest at least a small portion of their wealth into precious metal investments.

Precious metal investments should not be about speculating, getting rich or amassing wealth but rather simply trying to preserve what we have worked to build for ourselves and our families. Gold should not be about the pursuit of riches and it is the worship of 'Mammon' that has got the world into the state it is in today.

We should never lose sight of the glaringly obvious fact that while gold is precious and is the ultimate money or currency, it is after all only a metal and what is truly precious in these short lives of ours are our daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews , uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. Unfortunately in these cynical times articulating such notions of love and speaking from the heart is often derided.

Gold is merely a means to an end rather than the end itself. We may experience deflation, massive inflation, inflation of necessities and deflation of assets and non-essential goods, or none of the above and just a 'muddle through' economy.

Gold will protect us and our families in any or all of these economic scenarios and is the ultimate financial insurance. However, we must never lose sight of the fact that our immediate families and wider global family are what is truly precious.


Mark O'Byrne


May 13, 2004

Mark O'Byrne is executive and research director of www.GoldCore.com which he founded in 2003. GoldCore have become one of the leading gold brokers in the world and have over 4,000 clients in over 40 countries and with over $200 million in assets under management and storage.We offer mass affluent, HNW, UHNW and institutional investors including family offices, gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion in London, Zurich, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Perth. 

Gold's special properties mean that it has a greater variety of uses than almost any metal.

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