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Lenders, Leopards, and Lions: The Violence of Avarice - Muslim Musings from Dante's Six, Seventh

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Event Name: Lenders, Leopards, and Lions: The Violence of Avarice - Muslim Musings from Dante's Six, Seventh
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 4/27/2019
Transcript Version: 1

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good morning it's a great pleasure to

introduce Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Sheikh

Hamza happens to be when the most

prominent Muslim scholars in the Bay

Area he's a teacher writer and scholar

and he's also the co-founder of Zaytuna

College the first Muslim liberal arts

college in the country established where

else here in Berkeley California he is

an advisor to Stanford University's

program in Islamic studies and the

Center for Islamic studies here at the

GTU he also serves as a member of the

Board of Advisors of George Russell's

One Nation a national philanthropic

initiative that promotes pluralism and

inclusion in America he also serves as

vice president for the global Center for

guidance and renewal recently Hamza

Yusuf was ranked as the Western world's

most influential Islamic scholar by the

500 most influential Muslims edited by

John Esposito and Ibrahim Killeen Shaikh

Homs has authored any number of

encyclopedia articles and research

papers and several books including

purification of the heart the content of

character the Creed of imam al Tahari

agenda to change our condition walking

on water and the prayer of the oppressed

and is forthcoming

the helpful guide and I just want to say

a little bit about sheikh hamza x' work

basically we can serve characterized in

three parts on the one hand the sheikh

hamza has been very influential in

reviving the authentic tradition of

Islamic scholarship which had suffered

all sorts of missed formations due to

colonialism as a tuna College is an

example of this of going back to the

roots of Islamic traditional education

and for that reason he has a great deal

of reputation credibility among you know

even non scholarly Muslims at the same

time he emphasizes that true

understanding of tradition goes beyond

the letter of the text to the spirit

that inspires the letter so he has

always emphasized in his research than

an understanding of the texts of Islamic

scholarship we

requires knowledge of the purification

of the heart of the ascetic and mystical

tradition of self-development which

enables one to understand the actual

text of the letter and then the third

part of its work is applying this to the

contemporary situation so Sheikh Hamza

has been an outspoken and passionate

critic of all kinds of social justice

and extremism whether it's the extremism

of global elites and militarism or the

counter extremism of pseudo Islamic

extremists Sheikh Hamza has been

credited for say persuading edge Hussain

to abandon extremism so Sheikh Hamza

working basically be described as a kind

of bridge building and connecting of

worlds connecting the worlds of

tradition and modernity and the worlds

of west and east which blends in

perfectly well with Graduate theological

unions in Pacific School of religions

mission and purpose so it's a my great

pleasure and honor to introduce Sheikh Hamza Yusuf

Main Speech (Shaykh Hamza Yusuf)


Thank you.  okay we good all right thank you sorry about that it was a I guess that's my introduction

In the name of God the Most Merciful The Most Compassionate I appreciated that I

always take those things with a serious

grain of salt like being the most

influential Muslim scholar in the West

because I'm having a hard time

influencing my 16 year old right now so

we know about influence the the the also

the description of a bridge builder

I'd prefer rather to be described as

somebody who's just trying to show

bridges that are already there we don't

need to build bridges building bridges

is a lot of effort and work I think we

should use the ones that are already

there but oftentimes the fog of war and

other things cloud our vision when

there's a lot of fog in San Francisco

you can't even see the Golden Gate

Bridge this this is one of those things

I think that that relates to all of us

the that I was really happy and the

reason that I chose to do this was

because of the topic I I've been

actually not doing a lot of things like

the trying to get the things I already

have to do done so but the topic this

topic is one of the most fascinating

topics to me and it's fascinating for a

number of reasons that one of the most

important is the complete disconnection

that so many people have with wealth and

I want to give you an example how many

people know John Robbins not that many

I'm surprised I love John Robbins he's

wonderful guy his father was one of the

founders of Baskin and Robbins he he


he he wrote he wrote diet for a new

America that was his first revolutionary

book saying don't eat ice cream he he

also he he's an extraordinary human

being he as a young man idealistic went

to Vancouver built a log cabin with his

wife lived on an island in Vancouver and

without electricity raised his children

there his son this is kind of the 60s

people here can relate to this his son

named ocean is also doing things so he

was part of that idealistic generation

that listened to too many Bob Dylan

songs and and took this stuff seriously

and and dropped out what's interesting

is when he came back after several years

he began to advocate for a lot of things

related to social justice diet is one of

them because we don't realize the

connection between what we eat and

ethics which is very important not just

the Ethical Treatment of Animals which

is one aspect of it because the animals

today are no longer farm animals they

are literally commercial products they

have nothing to do with a traditional

idea Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o

McDonald's now owns the farm and it's

not that you know the pig and the cow

having a good time anymore so but one of

the things that intrigued me I got his

book the new good life living better in

an age of less and he talks about this

crisis that we're in and how it's

actually an opportunity but what really

struck me was he admits and I think

courageously that he lost all of his

money in this crises because all of his

money was invested with Bernie Madoff

and so I think it's just so amazing that

somebody who I believe is a truly

ethical person but the fact that he was

living off stolen money because a Ponzi

scheme you're not living off your money

that was already spent you're living off

the money of other people that have now

invested into the Ponzi scheme and so

this to me illustrate SPRO found

this incredible disconnect that we have

in the United States between our wealth

how we invest it and what the wealth is

actually doing out there in the world

and this doesn't just mean investment

somebody who wrote best-selling books

has money to invest most people don't

but it also means the ethical choices

that you make every day when you buy

right we and and now the corporations

are wising up to this so now they're

putting like Fairtrade stamps and and a

lot of this stuff is unregulated so we

really don't know what's going on but

they recognize that there are people

that are deeply troubled by the type of

world that we're living in right now and

the imbalances that we have so I want to

look at a pre-modern person who dealt

with these things and one of the things

about Dante Dante is very troubling for

Muslims and I'll get to that later but

Dante is also somebody who and I think

the theses of his indebtedness to the

Islamic tradition is is airtight for

somebody that knows the tradition very

well and knows Dante reasonably well the

I think I've seen palacios who's the

Spanish Catholic priest who first put

forward this thesis that Dante had been

influenced by what's known as the

nocturnal or the Night Journey of the

Prophet Mohammed where he goes through

hell he's guided by Gabriel he and then

ascends to the heights and then into

paradise ultimately to experience the

beatific vision and to come back the the

similarities are so extraordinary and

many of the things that you find in

Dante are not from Christian tradition

and Christians know this that it's

usually seen as from the imagination of

Dante now to say that Dante stole like

they say mediocrity is to borrow

geniuses to steal there's nothing really

wrong with stealing Shakespeare was

constantly stealing things from most of

his plays our plots taken from other

playwrights but the genius is making it

your own this is a title lenders

leopards and lions he divides

into the sins of the Leopards the sins

of the Lions and the sins of the wolves

and then the violence of avarice because

we we don't really think of avarice as

being a violent crime or a violent sin

but in in this medieval tradition it was

so these are my musings from these these

trenches in Dante's hell the pre-modern

world view among Abrahamic people and

amongst all people the pre-modern world

was a metaphysical world people before

modernity lived in a world in which they

recognized that this was not the world

this was Maya it was one in the Arabic

tradition it was completely FNS it it

was trans it was something that was

transient by its nature would dissipate

before we knew it but it also was

symbolic and this is why Plato for

instance did not want image makers and

this is one of the things that Neil

postman argues in amusing ourselves to

death that in the second in the

Decalogue the second commandment not to

make any graven images unto God and not

to make any images whatsoever I mean if

you read the the original commandment

it's very specific about not making

images at all and Postman argues that if

a God who is a complete abstraction the

idea of God wanted human beings to

understand him or her or it however you

want to phrase it the the God would have

to be a god that was understood through

symbols through abstraction in the mind

not tangible and so the idea of idolatry

was such an anathema to the Abrahamic

traditions the iconoclast

influenced by the Muslims during the

Byzantine period actually destroy a lot

of the icons it's interesting that the

only icons that we have from that period

and in in the late 7th and early 8th

century are the ones that were

from the monasteries that were protected

by the Muslims so the Greeks went around

destroying all these icons so the the

pre-modern world was a world of

metaphysics and Plato felt that the

danger of images was that it would take

people they would be now twice removed

from reality so if you have a television

and you're watching reality TV you're

actually twice removed from reality

because the actual thing that's

happening that you're watching whether

it's recorded or live are images of

images and so he saw the danger of

having those images now one of the

aspects of the pre-modern world view was

morality was at the center of the human

condition the Ten Commandments are

universal Commandments you will find

these in many many traditions some form

of the Ten Commandments it's it's

actually quite extraordinary how

widespread they are if you look at the

core ethics of the Quran it's clearly

from the Ten Commandments the obstacles

to fulfilling the Ten Commandments are

the seven deadly sins according to st.

Gregory the Great a one of the great

Catholic leaders now in Dante's world

sin was something you struggled against

it was not something you indulged in it

was something something you actually

struggled against if you go to Las Vegas

as you enter into Las Vegas there's a

big banner in the airport that says

surrender to your desires and then what

what happens here stays here so one of

the things that advertising people have

learned is that the seven deadly sins

make great selling points so have the

Mercedes and you're gonna look better

than everybody else on the

you're gonna have respect you'll also

get the envy of other people luxurious

so these these these seven deadly sins

were central to that worldview but one

of the interesting things about the

Mount of Purgatorio was at the base was

pride and and don t doesn't really deal

did the whole Divine Comedy in the in

the inferno pride is constantly there

but it's not mentioned in the same way

that the other sins are mentioned

because it's just understood that is the

root problem greed and pride were the

root problems according to st. Thomas of

the human condition but what's

interesting about this mountain as as

you climb up the mountain it gets

lighter and easier so it's the opposite

of a worldly mountain the spiritual

mountain gets actually easier now one of

the things about Jesus which is

interesting I mean there are many things

interesting about him but one of the

things that's very interesting is that

when he was one of the teachers of law

came and heard them debating noticing

that Jesus had given them a good answer

he asked him of all the commandments

which is the most important now you

could look at this the 613 commandments

of the Torah or you could look at it as

the Ten Commandments the most important

one jesus answered is is this here o

Israel the shinai the Lord our God the

Lord is one love the Lord your God with

all your heart and with all your soul

and with all your mind and with all your

strength the second is this love your

neighbor as yourself

there is no commandment greater than

these what Jesus does in in this

incredibly sick synched manner is to sum

up the Ten Commandments because the

first three Commandments are about

loving God about honoring God believing

in God about honoring the Sabbath and

then it's loving the neighbor it's don't

kill don't steal those are acts of

hatred towards the neighbor honor your

parents those are the closest neighbors

that you have growing up and don't covet

your neighbor's Goods don't bear false

witness this is all loving the neighbor

so he reduces the Ten Commandments to

two Commandments now what's interesting

about that is he makes it a positive

most of the ten commands

our negatives but he makes it a positive

that love is a positive force in the

world and this is really Dante's vision

in the inferno because Dante sees that

love is at the root of all of this you

have and he ends his his Paradiso with

love so it's it's the last line in in

the in the entire poem he has loved

excessive love perverted and love

wanting these are the human problems now

Dante he finds himself the middle of his

life he was born in 1265 this takes

place in in 1300 and Dante is he's a

fascinating character for a number of

reasons one of them is that he is a

devout Catholic and yet he's deeply

influenced by rationalism he's

definitely a secularist he really wants

to see separation of church and state

he's also very anti-clerical he in fact

he's never been beatified I mean he's

you know he stuck half the Pope's in

hell so and he really he had a problem

with the church but like all great

Patriots their greatest act is to point

out what needs to be corrected you see

the jingoistic type of approach never

works those are the flatterers that tell

you there's nothing wrong it's the

people that point out what needs to

change and that's what he was really

involved in doing but he enters the

inferno and you know abandon hope all ye

who enter here

III had a an idea of doing a theme park

based on the inferno

because because we love theme parks

right I was actually on mr. Toad's Wild

Ride with my children and I realized at

Disneyland that mr. Toad's Wild Ride is

kind of a minion fare no because because

he actually goes to hell in that I don't

know if there is it's a terrible thing

to do to a five-year-old you know it's

just a trevally frightening thing but he

mr. toad actually he he goes to hell but

then suddenly it's like no you get a

second chance and and so you you're back

out all right it's start over but the he

enters the what's interesting is first

of all he sees this incredible array of

humanity and he's like I can't believe

hell is undone so many and the first

group that are actually in a vestibule

out outside of Hell proper they're in

hell but it's it's outside of Hell

proper and these are the tremors these

are the people that were neither for

good nor evil they were only for

themselves and and they they have a

banner that has nothing on it

representing the meaninglessness of

their lives and they're running about to

and fro with these insects biting them

and stinging them on their heads as

reminders of what they should have done

so but then he moves into the sins of

the leopard which are the sins of youth

and he has in their luxurious

Ola aviary Shion IRA luxurious lust it's

the Latin word for lust which is an

interesting word that is is related to a

kind of spreading out like sorry as a

looseness we talk about loose morals the

idea of not being able to contain

oneself and then you have gula which is

where we get gluttony from and and it's

a wonderful almost an amount of pattaya

type word because it just sounds so much

like the actual act and then aviary

Hsieh which is a beautiful word which we

get avid reader is a greedy reader it's

from the same root from a Sanskrit word

avati which means to crave or to desire

and so

greed is a craving which is also hungry

is is related to greed it's the same as

you go back to the ancient cognates

you'll find that greed and hunger are

the same so the idea of greed is a

craving and we know the second noble

truth of the Buddha is craving is at the

root of our problems

so the sin of luxurious is an

interesting one I want to talk and this

is always religious people always going

on about lust and pornography and and

this is the obsession of Christianity

for for too long

right I mean Christians and it's kind of

driven everybody mad I think they've

kind of gone to that extreme because

they just couldn't take the sermons

anymore but you know I I want to say

that I don't think people are really

aware of this problem I think a lot of

good people that that and not to say

other people are bad people but people

that you know that people that aren't

engaged in these type of things don't

really understand the extent of this

problem and and when when a when a

society we're producing almost 90

percent of all the pornographic material

in the world and this is becoming it is

by far the predominant downloading now

going on on the internet there's a

wonderful you can google this if you'd

like there's a wonderful image on on on

youtube of a investment banker who's

live from australia and he's talking

about interest rates and behind him is

one of the investment bankers they're

downloading pornography this showed up

on live TV so he kind of gets caught

he's at work supposed to be crunching

numbers right and and he's downloading

pornography and somebody comes and

points it out to him that they're on

live TV back there and he's kind of in a

state of shock but this is a major

problem in terms of loss of time and

these things so what's interesting about

lust Dorothy Sayers who people know her

as a mystery writer

was also I think a first-rate theologian

Dorothy Sayers argues that there are two

reasons for lust becoming predominant in

a culture or in a person in a person it

can be sometimes from what she calls an

abundance of animal spirits in other

words there a lusty person there there's

somebody that has a lot of vital energy

and this vital energy can be dissipated

in sexual pursues but the other one is

that she said that in a society that has

lost meaning she said that this pursuit

can become a type of in essence it's

it's a distraction from the troubling

emptiness that is there and this is

something that Kierkegaard recognizes

because Kierkegaard talks about the

estate the the aesthetic man he said at

the high level and the estate this is

what so answered about Kierkegaard is

that Kierkegaard recognizes that the guy

at the Opera do you know the guy at the

opera titillating his senses and

experiencing these things and is

obsessed with the aesthetic life is no

different from this guy down on the

pornographic downloading that it's the

same type of impulse that is causing us

to pursue these things that's my little

graphic there now in the United States

now it's estimated that only 3% of boys

and 17% of girls have never seen

internet pornography and I know just

from my own experience on the internet

you can find images like when I was

trying to get some of these images

pornographic images popped up on the

image thing in Google and you're

supposed to report them so people upload

these images this is a real problem in

our country and then if you look at the

statistics that are going on beyond

really beyond belief it's quite tragic

so I will just as a side note I

participated and wrote a paper BAE

Dante's Inferno with the Witherspoon

Institute this is called the social

costs of pornography and my papers in

here my paper was originally titled

climbing Mount purgatorio reflections

from the seventh cornice which is the

cornice of lust and they changed it I

guess the Catholics kind of wanted the

Muslim to have a non Catholic title

maybe I don't know the but gula which is

gluttony I don't I didn't that image the

person that put that up put that up I

really wouldn't want to do that to

somebody the prevalence of obesity in

the United States is really quite

stunning what's happening in our country

obviously some of it you know one at one

of our scientists at the National

Institute of Health said that we're

making food now like crack cocaine

because they found that high fat and

high sugar rats cannot stop eating it

and so the people that the hand for C

corporations know these things and this

is the ruthlessness and the impersonal

nature and the really a moral nature and

immoral nature but this is what's

happening so you can see since 1974 to

2004 just look at that and if you look

these are doubling and one of the things

about exponential growth if you

understand the doubling factor and I'll

get into that when we talk about usury

but it's very dangerous to see doubling

happening now every Hsieh which is greed

this this American thing I'm not calling

them a greedy family this is more just a

normal family in America it's obviously

for they were from I think Texas very

Christian she's got the Bible as the

centerpiece of their possessions which i

think is quite lovely but if you look at

the amount of goods they have and this

comes from a wonderful book of people

that went around the world taking

pictures of the average person in that

country and they would have the family

come out and have all their possessions

and and you you see places like Bhutan

where they've got like a few blankets

and some pots to cook with and

and they they're beaming with radians

they look so happy and I can attest this

because I actually lived with Bedouins

in West Africa and the Bedouin that I

live with the tribe that I lived with

which moved three times in the year

lived in tents the the the possession

was always contained in a chest all

their worldly possessions in a chest and

it was a great gift to live with them

because one of the things I learned from

them is you do not need very much our

needs are very very few and and one of

the things about those people is I never

really saw any depression or people that

were troubled they were really happy

people prozac hasn't had a market there

yet it's a this is from st. Thomas it is

a sin directly against one's neighbor

greed since one man cannot over abound

in external riches without another man

lacking them it is a sin against God

just as all mortal sins in as much as

man contemned things eternal for the

sake of temporal things that's at the

essence of this and then IRA I'm gonna

get back to grieve because it doesn't go

away when we get to violence IRA is is

wrath and an anger now here we are in

Dante's extraordinary vision of Hell

which actually comes from the Islamic

tradition which has circles going down

and some of the prophets Elias nm did

not write this but some of the Muslim

writers had it burrowing in to the earth

and they also unlike the Christian

tradition there is a tradition in Islam

that ice is the deepest punishment in

hell which is where Dante gets this

frozen lake where the demon is now as

dante enters into limbo these are for

the righteous pagans what's interesting

is he puts a very wheeze even the

Russian and even Xena there and

Salahuddin AUV so this is because limbo

is not that bad

it's probably like motel 6 as opposed to

the Fairmont it's really not that bad

it's green it's got the seven mountains

that represent the seven virtues and

you're not really suffering there but

you're distant from God so that's that's

the punishment and and then Dante is

informed also that when Christ died he

came and took all the Old Testament

prophets out of there and brought them

into heaven so obviously it can't be

that bad if those great men were put

there and then he the next circle is the

lustful the gluttonous the avaricious

the prodigal the wrathful and the sullen

he's got two groups of the wrathful and

the they're the ones that express their

wrath and they're there they're in the

lake and they're they're all fighting

each other and then the sullen ones that

interiorize their anger and become

depressed resentful and angry at the


but they're not expressing it outwardly

and then we moved to sticks which is the

hateful river and he borrows from

greco-roman tradition and then he has

the heretics and heretics eros eya and

Greek comes from a word which means to

choose for yourself

so the heretics are those who choose for

themselves no out outward authority in

in many ways we are the heretical

generation the modern world is a world

of heretics I'm you know I did it my way

Frank Sinatra the great singer so the

and then he moves into the seventh

circle and this is where the sins of

violence are and they're the the violent

that are against their neighbor and

these are the tyrants the war mongers

the murderers these are the people that

are the purveyors of war so violence are

the sins of the lion these are the sins

of manhood in the way that the leopard

which are the sins of incontinence the

inability incontinence which now just

means incontinence to stool and urine in

medical terminology means you can't hold

your urine or your feces it used to mean

you just couldn't control yourself a

crazy ax it was the idea of just

somebody that did not have the moral

fiber to hold themselves within the

boundaries of morality

so the sins of the lion are the violent

ones now if you look at the you know the

world that we were living in right now

again the exponential factor here is is

quite frightening but these are the

types of money that we're putting in to

military and this is a much more

accurate you know one of the things that

the official records want to say is that

our military budgets about 20% and

that's the the the government's official

one but if you actually look at all

their finagling and see how it's quite

clever how they do it I mean it's

wonderful if you if you look at at New

York New York is the only state in our

Union that has a budget they have to

actually have a fiscal budget that stays

within the boundaries that's a clause in

their state constitution that they

actually cannot do deficit financing

well how do they get around that they

were 200 million short not that long ago

so they sold Attica prison to themselves

for 200 million dollars I'm not making

this up does this this literally happens

this is the type of stuff that goes on

Clinton they always talk about how

during the Clinton period it was Oh last

time we had we didn't have a deficit

that was a surplus right look at the

really what happened and you'll see that

they they were digging into the social

security funds so they didn't have to

borrow the money they just took from

future people seriously I mean this this

is this is what's happening so if you

look at at the warmongering that goes on

and we have to deal with this this is

our country here's our budget in

relation to the rest of the world we are

15 times we're 15 times greater than all

of the the next group combined and 12 of

these are strong allies I mean you look

at Canada Canada it's it's it's number

14 there and they're a strong ally of

the United States and if you look Saudi

Arabia that's just corporate welfare by

the way cuz Saudis never use their

hardware they never fight wars I mean

when they got into trouble they called

on America so all the weapons are just

there waiting for the Americans to use

right but they're number eight all that

those Petro dollars this the

military-industrial complex is at the

root of these sins of violence and this

is something that unfortunately because

we as Americans we view ourselves as

always wearing the white hat you we

don't you know collateral damage isn't

that's not terrorism because hey we

didn't mean to kill them even though

they have statisticians in the Pentagon

that tell them how many civilians are

going to die probabilistically they know

that but we didn't intend to do it it's

just an important fortunate byproduct of

war so this is the type of environment

now this was an act of violence against

this country but Iraq wasn't our act of

violence against a country that had

nothing to do with this act of violence

and so this is these are the cycles of

violence that are perpetrated constantly

and we can never get out of them and and

and so these these violent sins and then

violence against themselves because it's

interesting how they're they're the same

sides of one coin right two sides to the

same coin now

and then he's got blasphemers against he

has the blasphemers and and then the

sodomites now what's interesting about

the sodomites in Dantes I don't want

that's not fair a friend of my did that

what what's interesting about the the

sodomites is if you look at Ezekiel now

this was the sin of your sister Sodom

she and her daughters were arrogant

overfed and unconcerned they did not

help the poor and the needy they were

haughty and did detestable things before

me therefore I did away with them this

is also consistent with the Platonic

narrative one of the sins of the

sodomites was they raped guests and and

in the Platonic narrative they come to

the house of lot and they demand that he

surrender their guests so that they can

rape their guests and so the this is a

violent society they had they express it

through sexual violence but it is a

violent Society and I think that's

important to remember and he actually

has a kind word to one of them who was

his teacher

Dante now now we get to the users and

these are the this is the crime against

art that's that's how it's produced now

art in the medieval world view was

production it was the idea of production

that you produce things Christ and his

three-year mission the only time he gets

violent is with the users chasing them

out of the temple now if you look at the

abrahamic you can look at these these

are all in exodus leviticus take no

usery or interest from him but fear your

God that your brother may live with you

you shall not lend him your money for

usury nor lend him your food at a profit

if one of your brethren becomes poor and

falls into poverty among you then you

shall help him like a stranger or a

soldier that he may live with you and

then to a foreigner you may charge

interest it's interesting st. jerome and

if you look at the early church father

st. jerome has a very famous statement

about ubi

just bel i boobie ATM juice user i if

it's just to wage war on them it's just

to charge users

that's how he understood that that the

that the stranger was actually somebody

who was an enemy and then this was the

Jubilee right you know what they would

say today our economist oh that creates

moral hazard right seriously that's

exactly how that how they would look at

that and then this is Ezekiel also right

so and and this is a just man who does

what's lawful and right he doesn't eat

on the mountains where the idolaters

used to eat and or lifted his eyes to

idols nor defiled his neighbor's wife

nor approached a woman in her impurity

if he has not oppressed anyone but he

has restored the debtor to his pledge

he's robbed no one by violence taken no

Ussery if he had not extracted using nor

taken any increase but has withdrawn his

hand from iniquity and executed true

justice between a man and a man if he

has walked in my statutes and kept my

justice judgments faithfully he is just

now in the Jewish tradition and the Jews

in European tradition were forced into

usury it's very interesting if you

studied they used that a lot of the

European sovereigns would have the Jews

as tax collectors and this is like

having african-american police in inner

cities do you know it's it's it's it's

kind of it I mean that's an opposite

example of that it's trying to deflect

but it's what the tax collector when he

was Jewish if he would come they would

see the Jew and not the sovereign so

they would see the Jew as an oppressor

and that was literally designed I mean

these people were were Machiavellian in

their in their in their outlook so but

this is from the Talmud every man's

Talmud by dr. Cohen one method of

earning a living which was condemned in

scathing terms by the rabbi's was usury

a man who practice it was precluded from

giving evidence in a court of law come

and see the blindness of the user errs

if a man call his fellow a villain the

latter proceeds against him even to the

extent of depriving of his live with it

but user errs take witnesses scribe pen

and ink and write and seal the document

to the

I mean woody guthrie put that in a more

popular phrase when he said some men

will rob you with a six-gun and some

with a fountain pen and so that's what

he's alluding to but he said no matter

how far you roam you'll never see an

outlaw take a family from its home not

like the bankers whoever has money and

lends it without interest of him as

written he that putteth not out his

money to user he shall never be moved

hence you can learn that if a man lends

on interest his possessions will be

moved users are comparable to shedders

of blood Cato the Elder was asked about

user he he said user II asked me about

murder he equated it with murder and

there's reasons for that would that the

monitor people don't understand

unfortunately because we don't fully

grasp it one of the most important

things and this is why it's so good to

see this issue being addressed justo

Gonzales and I would recommend reading

this book faith and wealth a history of

early Christian ideas on the origin

significance and use of money in

Gonzales his book what he shows very

clearly is one of the most central and

important issues that Christians were

grappling with was the ethical use of

wealth they were obsessed with it in

their writings but what he says on the

outlines of the actual relationship

between faith and wealth there's and

there is also remarkable unanimity it's

one of the few things they really agreed

on to the point that certain themes

appear again and again usery by witches

usually meant any loan on interest is

universally condemned in the early

church the one possible exception is

clement of alexandria who may have held

that the prescription of loans on

interest applies only to loans to other

believers but even this possibility is

based only on a debatable interpretation

of a single text so user ii was seen as

condemned and and this is obviously the

chasing them out love your enemies do

good to them and lend to them without

expecting to get anything right even

your enemies so this is really

abrogating that idea of lending to the

the enemy which is why he put it in

there and it's interesting that modern

Christians have justified usury with the

Luke story about the man who comes with

the the talons and he gives his each one

he gives him ten and five and one and

then two of them work it in the third

one he just hides it and he says oh I

knew you're an austere and cruel man and

you take what's not yours and you reap

what you don't sell so I just hit it and

here it is here and he said you you're

your condemnation of me is my judgment

against you you should have known that I

would have wanted more and you should

have put it in a bank and gotten

interest so he used the example of a

wicked tyrant that everybody hates and

says well there's Jesus he's saying user

he's okay

they have very weird interpretation but

hey that's Scripture yeah the nature of

the sin called user has his proper place

in origin in a loan contract this

financial contract between consenting

parties demands by its very nature that

one returned to another only as much as

he has received the sin rests on the

fact that something the creditor desires

more than he's given therefore he

contends some gain is allowed to him

beyond that which he loaned but any gain

which exceeds the amount he gave his

illicit and user EAA's this is an

encyclical a papal encyclical which is

basically Church doctrine the Pope

writes it and then sends it out to all

the churches this is not ex cathedra in

other words it's not considered

infallible because the Pope's rarely use

ex cathedra as a doctrine and but this

was sent in 1745 it was all over by Pope

Benedict the 14th and then it was again

applied to the in cyclical to the whole

the Roman Catholic Church in 1836 during

the reign of Pope Gregory and dr. Noonan

one of the great Catholic scholars says

that it's impossible say that there was

not universal agreement on the

prohibition of usury charging for the

loan of money is unjust as such for you

are selling something that doesn't exist

this is the important distinction that

the the medieval 's understood that

money is a means of exchange

it is not meant in and of itself to be a

source of income you can invest money by

buying goods and products and selling

them as a businessman but when you loan

money and make money off the money you

have perverted the purpose of money

which is a means of exchange and you

have made it an end as a good is an end

this is how they understood it the word

in Greek for usury was tacos which means

to give birth and this is why he has

them on a barren sandy completely on

fertile because what they've done is

they've made something that should be

unfertile in its essence but it causes

things to grow if it's used properly and

so this is this is a Thomas saying some

things like food are concerned by use so

that the use can't be separated from the

thing when we let someone use such

things and we transfer the ownership of

the thing itself so if you sell a

sandwich you've transferred the

ownership of sandwich and so the use of

the sandwich was which its consumption

is you can't charge them for that and

that's why bankers literally get their

cake and eat it too literally

it's amazing so so now when we let

somebody use such things than we

transfer knowledge if we tried to sell

wine and it's used separately we would

be selling the same thing twice over or

selling something non-existent that

would clearly be unjust by the same

token then it is unjust to lend wine and

then as for the twofold recompense the

restoration of some equivalent and

charge for its use this is what user he

is a use charge in such cases there are

however things which are not in this


st. Thomas always preempts what you're

gonna object to right he even really

he's quite stunning in that he

constantly does that he just he thinks

okay what are they gonna say to this one

and then boom he answers you so he said

there are however things which are not

consumed by you a house is used by

living in it not by pulling it down so

here we can separate the thing from its

use transferring the ownership for

example while reserving the use for

or vice-versa allowing someone the use

and retaining its ownership this is why

one can listen for a houses use and

later ask for its return as happens in

letting and renting so now Aristotle

tells us money was invented for the

purpose of exchange and that its prime

and proper use is in its consumption and

disbursement by being spent in

transactions it follows that it is in

principle wrong to charge for the loan

of money as is done in usury now in the

Islamic view allodynia Karuna rely upon

Allah , a poem on Lydia Taha Babu who

ship an omen and mess those who devour


will rise only like the one who rises to

be knocked down by a demon as if

possessed by madness my teacher said

Abdullah remember who's one of the

foremost authorities on Islamic finance

said that this is the boom-bust cycle of

a new serious society they rise only to

be knocked down and this will happen

again and again throughout history the

Quran says those who consume interest

cannot stand except this one stands who

is being beaten by Satan as a demon oh

you have believed do not consume user he

doubled and multiplied but fear that you

may be in order to be successful now in

traditional views of all forms of wealth

acquisition the most unnatural and

odious is that by means of usury

Aristotle in the politics John Addison I

love this one a moneylender he serves

you in the present tense he lends you in

the conditional mood keeps you in the

subjunctive and ruins you in the future

I mean really great stuff nothing like

the English for stringing words together

usery dolls and damps all industries

improvements and new inventions where

and money would be stirring if it were

not for this slug provision and that's

why why how are they trying to stimulate

the economy now they just keep lowering

the interest rate right just keep

lowering it down but there's deeper

problems and this is I'm gonna get to

this anyway john maynard keynes says

this very interesting that he used he

was brought up to believe that the

attitude of the church was to the rate

of interest was inherently absurd and

that the subtle discussions aimed at

distinguishing between the return of

money loans from the return of active

investments were merely Jesuitical

attempts to find a practical escape from

a foolish theory but I now read these

discussions as an honest intellectual

effort to keep separate what classical

Theory has inextricably confused

together the rate of interest and the

marginal efficiency of capital and he

distinguished he invented the marginal

efficiency of capital so that's the nice

thing about inventing your own terms is

that you define them as well

so but he basically the marginal

efficiency of counts of capital is what

it's worth which is not necessary the

interest rate so most economists would

see the same thing he saw it as

different but his point was is that they

recognize there is a difference between

the capital itself and and and the

interest itself and they distinguish

between those two and and but it's

prohibition is is for a very different


I already mentioned that from now back

to to Dante now we're in the fraud now

why why is greed violent fraud is not

one of the seven deadly sins and the

seven deadly sins Aquinas says deadly

sins are capital sins which means they

breed other sins in the same way that

you have moral virtues are virtues that

are the source or the matrix of other

virtues so courage when you think of

generosity generosity is a virtue but

generosity is subsumed under the virtue

of courage because you can't be generous

without courage your your your your your

literally going against the fear

of losing your wealth by giving it to

somebody else and so it's a very

sophisticated system but fraud st.

Thomas identifies these are called the

daughters of the seven deadly sins and

he has each of the sins have daughters

like one of the sins the daughters of

lust is that you begin to hate God you

begin to lose any sense of spirituality

because you're so subsumed by the

sensual but in the daughters of greed he

has treachery he has fraud

so fraud is a daughter of greed it's a

daughter of avarice yeah and it's

important to note also that the deadly

sins are not acts they are states of

being so greed is not an act it's a

symptom when you see somebody acting

greedily that what he's doing is a

symptom but the actual disease is a

state of being and so he's got the first

ones are the the panders and the

seducers the fraudulent men there's

there's a book now that was on the front

table of borders and Barnes & Noble

called the players Bible and it was a

book on how to seduce women like it

teaches you how to seduce women and and

what's interesting about this is that

apparently there's a whole underground

group of these guys that communicate on

internet and exchange how they do these

things I read an article about this and

it was quite shocking to see this but

this is this is a type of fraud like to

know the right things to say to a woman

in order to seduce her right and that's

what they do so they're fraudulent and

he he has this horrible geureon which is

a from from Greek mythology which is a

monster with a beautiful face and it's

got a poisonous tail and that's how he

personifies fraud and so and and and

this is also he's got the flatterers who

are literally up to it in cracked like

they're full of it literally I mean in

in Hell so there he's got the the

glutton the

witness our being rained down by feces

rain it's like so the flatterers are

those those people and this also is you

he would probably today put the ad

executives down here if he was a lot the

scientists are those who sell from Simon

Magus and in the New Testament who tries

to buy the gifts of the Holy Spirit and

puts obviously the church was having a

difficult time with that and then divin

errs astrologers and magicians he would

probably put people like and he put the

people of his time like the people that

read Dante knew all the names because

they were familiar with all the people

they were like celebrities of the time

so he would put probably like these

people dive in or dinners he would put

these guys on CNN who do the the

prognostication for where the stock

market's going you know telling you what

to buy and things like that and then

he's got the the Bears who are what the

Simon is are to the church the barriers

are to government they're the people

that accept bribes and then he's got the

hypocrites the thieves

fraudulent counselors and it's

interesting the man that advised Caesar

to cross the Rubicon is here so it's the

people that give fraudulent advice like

the people that told the to go into Iraq

for instance under false pretenses

because many of them knew and this is

all come out so we know that this is the

the the type of and then solar's of

scandal and schism this is where

unfortunately for Muslims he has the

Prophet Mohammed with Adi now I want to

and I you know this is difficult for me

but I would like to defend a little bit

Dante Dante Dante put him it in among

the schismatic s-- there is another

group in in the heretics which is where

the false prophets were he is not I'm

sorry not in in the he's in the the

false prophets are in the they're in the

eighth circle I think they're in the

first bowl gia he does not put them with

the false prophets he puts him

with the schismatic so now the

schismatic SAR the Eastern Churches and

this is in essence acknowledging that

these are believers but they saw schism

was actually because it created violence

and rupture in society it's also not a

disease of fraud and this is pointed out

by the commentators in Dante that he

puts him here because the the the fraud

is in their own misperception of the

world this is this is how he does it and

I also want to say that these people

that he puts here are not the people and

that's why people say oh he put his

enemies in hell and he was just cruel

and just know these are personifications

he is personifying the idea of schism

and that was something very close to a

deeply divided world between christians

and muslims who were fighting then as

unfortunately we are now so but then he

puts the falsifiers

alright now what's interesting to me

he's got the counterfeiters and the

alchemist and and and and the people

that the coin i want to look at this was

110 years ago when the earl lectures

were founded look at what the dollar the

purchasing power of the dollar was

alright because what you could buy you

see is it has diminished to the point so

for instance my grandfather who sold

bubblegum as a ten year old boy in in

San Francisco down on Market Street in

1906 he used to sell it I think for a

penny little packages of bubble gum so

all you have to do is look at how much

that package cost today and in those

days it was organic right so so you'd

even have to like double the price to

get the organic bubble gum but just look

at the purchasing power of the dollar

that has been declining and then our

debt 56 trillion and this is it's

actually higher than this now but this

is the current liabilities and unfounded

promises okay we only have about 15

trillion dollar

in circulation and this is what we owe

in liabilities Social Security met a cow

all these things okay I mean this is a

real crises so our current national

debts at about 12 trillion right and our

budget was close to two trillion so now

most of this again we're going a large

portion is going to defense and another

portion is going to interest on the

national debt now this is old wine in a

new bottle so because in the old days

you had gangsters and the thing about

gangsters is that they would just go in

and usually have like they would cover

and they'd go in and rob the bank now

they get on the boards it's much more

clever series and this is not

exaggeration there's a book called the

best way to rob a bank is to own one

and this is what these people have been

doing and it's really quite stunning now

I just look at this statement Wall

Street with its vast banks in New York

City and associated banks and all other

large cities suggested that there was a

prospect of most disastrous panic that

the world and and that had known unless

Congress gave them emergency currency

neither could these great swivel-chair

operators of Wall Street exploit the

commerce that would follow between the

war nations and our country has a great

profiteering game unless Uncle Sam came

to their aid and financially that is

would give them more currency okay

instead of aiding the people as the

Congress as the government should have

done Congress immediately passed and

emergency currency Act to Furness the

banks that the speculators controlled

all the money they should need till they

could operate the Federal Reserve Act

the speculators received from Uncle Sam

nearly four hundred million dollars okay

that would be about four hundred billion

today under the provisions of the

emergency currency act and when the

Federal Reserve Act really got to

operating they had nearly four hundred

million at one time under that act and

they could get as much more as they


that's congressman Charles Lindbergh

senior who was this the father of

Charles Lindbergh who flew across the

Atlantic he was a congressman that was

opposed to the Federal Reserve but my

point is is that it's the same game too

big to fail this is how it's all fear

and this is one of the things that the

the the panders and the seducers they

use fear and desire to trick people and

and and to get what they want now it is

an old maxim and a very sound one that

that he who dances should always pay the

fiddler now sir in the present case of

any gentleman whose money is a burden to

them choose to lead off a dance I am

decidedly opposed to the people's money

being used to pay the fiddler no one can

doubt that the examination proposed by

this resolution must cost the state some

ten or twelve thousand dollars a lot of

money in 1837 and all this to settle a

question in which the people have no

interest in about which they care

nothing these capitalists generally act

harmoniously and in concert to fleece

the people and now that they have got

into a quarrel with themselves we are

called upon to appropriate the people's

money to settle the quarrel because they

wanted money over a stock collapse that

happened and this is an old game now I

want to talk about America's great fairy

tale you see every culture has to have

some really profound fairy tale and and

ours is the Wizard of Oz now The Wizard

of Oz about the time the Earl lectures

were being initiated there was a

character named William Jennings Bryan

in fact a hundred and ten years ago he

would have just found out that he lost

the 1900 election for president he ran

on the anti-imperialism platform he was

an he was a pacifist they called him a

coward they considered him a coward he

was a pacifist

he was also pro farming and and our

farmers people have no idea how much our

farmers have suffered in this country

really the suicide rate is the highest

amongst farmers I mean these are people

tied to the land and when the lands

taken away from them and and they're

forced into this agribusiness Gresham's

dynamic which is that the cheaters drive

out the honest people now I just want to

look at this fairy tale because bomb was

was basically given us an allegory at

this time when he was writing this the

great debate in the United States was

over finance reform and

this Dorothea represents um the American

the good American from Kansas good

Midwest state she's on a farm and BOM

describes her her you know her aunt and

her uncle never smile it's a barren farm

because it's drought and then basically

she meets she goes to this land she

lands on the Wicked Witch of the East

Wall Street and she and and the

munchkins the little factory workers are

freed and they're really happy and then

the Good Witch of the North which is

where all the support for the populace

were come down and she gives her the

silver slippers which turned into ruby

slippers in the film but in the book

they're silver slippers and then she's

told to go to Oz because she wants to

get back to Kansas follow the yellow

brick road they were on the gold

standard in 1873 this country removed

the silver standard and they demonetised

silver which created an incredible

burden on farmers because gold was rich

people's money silver was poor people's

money and it was made illegal for people

to use and that's Bryan's famous the

cross of gold don't crucify us on a

cross of gold so the yellow brick road

leads that emerald forests the green

backs because the currency was tied to

the gold and and in the book they all

wear emerald glasses that have a string

connected to a gold belt and the

Scarecrow represents the kind of simple

farmers that were intelligent but not

educated and they needed a brain with

the thoughts I III could be thinking I'd

be another Lincoln if I only had a brain

and then the Tin Man is the industrial

factory workers who are dehumanized

by industry and and this is why the Tin

Man in the book says that he used to be

a real human being that was cutting the

wood but he would cut himself and and

the the tin makers would put him back

together until he became completely tin

but now he's lost his heart because this

is the alienation the dehumanization

that happens in factory workers and then

the Cowardly Lion is William Jennings

Bryant who was called a coward and and

needed the courage and the

power to do this they wanted to restore

bimetallism this was Hamilton's original

vision of this country to have a

bi-metal economy under a gold standard

the amount of credit the and by the way

at the end when she kills the Wicked

Witch of the the West which is where all

the farmers were being held it's the

yellow Wilkie's who are the the the

Chinese workers on the the railroad and

the winget monkeys who were the Native

Americans he was actually quite racist

towards Native Americans but they talked

about how we used to live on the land

and in the forest until these evil

people came and took us over and but how

does she kill the Wicked Witch liquidity

because because that's what they needed

they needed a cash infusion and and she

kind of dissolves into thin air right

what does she say

now I want you to really think about

this I'm coming to a close I know that

because I have to come to an end here

under a gold standard the amount of

credit that an economy can support is

determined by the economy's tangible

assets since every credit instrument is

ultimately a claim on some tangible

asset but government bonds are not

backed by tangible wealth only by the

government's promise to pay out of

future tax revenues and cannot easily be

absorbed by financial markets a large

volume of new government bonds can be

sold to the public only at progressively

higher interest rates thus government

deficient spending deficits spending

under a gold standard is severely

limited the abandonment of the gold

standard made it possible for the

welfare status to use the banking system

as a means to unlimited credit they have

created paper reserves in the form of

government bonds which through a complex

series of steps the banks accept in

place of tangible assets and treat as if

they were an actual deposit this is just

on a ledger in the in the Federal

Reserve as the equivalent of what was

formerly gold the holder of a government

bond or of a bank deposit created by

paper tzer's believes that he has a

valid claim on a real asset the law of

supply and demand is not to be conned as

the supply of money of claims increases

relative to the supply of tangible

assets in the economy prices must

eventually rise thus the earnings saved

by the productive members of society

lose value in terms of goods so if

you're saving money you're losing money

in this system when the economy's books

are finally balanced one finds that this

loss in value represents the goods

purchased by the government for welfare

or other purposes

really it's all defense spending but the

money proceeds and interests of the

government bonds financed by bank credit

expansion in the absence of the gold

standard there is no way to protect

savings from confiscation through

inflation there's no safe store of value

if there were the government would have

to make it illegal as it was done in the

case of gold back in the 30s if everyone

decided for example to convert all his

bank deposits to silver or copper right

they'd lose their purchasing power so

the financial policy of the welfare

state requires that there be no way for

the owners of wealth to protect

themselves this is the shabby secret of

the welfare state as tirades against

gold deficit spending is a simply a

scheme for the confiscation of wealth

gold standards stand in the way of the

insidious process it stands as a

protector of property

if one grasp this one has no difficulty

in understanding the status antagonism

towards the gold standard that was Alan

Greenspan okay

that's true statement alan greenspan a

man who is furnished with arguments from

the mint will convince his antagonists

much sooner than any than one who draws

them from reason and philosophy gold is

a wonderful clearer of understanding it

dissipates every doubt and scruple in an

instant accommodates itself to the

meanest of capacities silences the loud

and clamors and brings over the most

obstinate and inflexible philip of

macedon was a man of most invincible

reason this way he refuted by it all the

wisdom of athens confounded their

Statesman's struck their orders dumb and

at length argued them out of all their

liberties that was addison again when

the freedom they wish for most was the

freedom from responsibility then Athens

ceased to be free and never was free

again that's one of our greatest

scholars on on the Greco tradition I'd

like to end with a poem by Robert Frost

because in the end for me the real two

sources of truth in this world are

revelation and poets and in the Islamic

tradition you can't separate the two

it's a prerequisite to comment on the

poor on that you have to master the

pre-islamic poets literally that is

agreed upon in Islamic tradition what

what poetry enables us the poets

penetrate and the poets are inspired and

and Dante was an inspired poet we can

look at the kind of there are many

things that we would object to but

ultimately Dante's vision is a vision of

every man and every woman's journey back

to God and in the end when Dante has the

beatific vision and and he sees it he's

he says and already my desire and my

will were made one turning by a wheel

yet at one speed the desire and the will

become one there's no more tension

between one's impulses and one's moral

rectitude and then he says

turned by the love that moved the

planets and the stars that love of God

Robert Frost wrote two poems about

economics and one of them he never

published it's called not it's called on

the inflation of the currency 1919 which

was when Wilson inflated the incurrence

he printed up a lot of money in order to

in order to pay for the war debts and he

said the pain of seeing 10 cents turned

to five we clutch with both hands

fiercely at the part we think we feel it

in the head the heart is someone cutting

us in two alive is somewhat at us

cutting us in half we cast a dangerous

look from where we lie up to the

enthroned it kings of earth and sky

they know what's best for them - well -

laughs that's about the bankers they've

convinced people that we need them

there are necessity they confiscate

wealth this misappropriation of wealth

is beyond belief in human history the

amount of money that's been taken out of

your homes people in this room the 401ks

that were destroyed and then he has

another poem and this is a warning to

America he says these words were cut in

stone for permanent these words so these

words I assume were so deeply met meant

they cut themselves in stone for

permanent like trouble in the brow above

the eyes and here's what's chiseled in

stone take care to sell your horse

before he dies the art of life is

passing losses on the city saying it was

Tessa Fong which may a little while by

war and trade have kept had have kept

from being caught with the decayed

infirm worn out and broken on its hands

but judging by what little of it stands

not even the ingenuities of debt could

save it from its law

is being met sand is thrusting in the

square of door across the tessellation

on the floor and only rests a serpent on

its chin content with contemplating

taking in until it can muster breath

inside a Hall inside a hall to rear

against the inscription on the wall

we're this country's money is being

destroyed really it's being destroyed

before our eyes and it's being destroyed

because of debt and debt is something

that is incredibly overwhelming for

people poor people have suffered the

most in this crises and until we take

the responsibility of understanding at a

deeper level the economics of the system

how it works we can't change anything it

was attempted William Jennings Bryan

attempted to do it a hundred and ten

years ago and there's a lot of people

now talking about this now whether we're

able to do it or not I don't know but

this system which is a global system now

and Ussery if you if you study how usery

works more interest on usury is going

out of the third-world countries than

aid going in this is just it's it's a

disgusting game and and it really should

end but whether we can end it or not is

is to be seen thank you very much


okay will now take questions from the

audience just just raise your hand if

you like ask the question thank you you

have continued a PSR tradition of

expanding our minds a lot of us own

homes I own a home isn't it fair for

there to be some interest charged on a

loan you know that's an argument that

was Calvin's argument Calvin

John Calvin was the French he was

originally Roman Catholic and then he

gets in trouble in the Inquisition moves

to Switzerland

the bankers actually erected a statue

for him because he's the first one that

legalizes usury in in in Christianity

but he did it by the idea of interest

and interest was originally a between

time if you delayed payment even by

church doctrine you could be charged in

the same way that they charge on credit

cards today if you're delayed that was a

reasoning what interest meant but what

Calvin did is he distinguished between

interest and usury and saw usury as

unjust or exorbitant at that time

anything higher than 12% would have been

considered usury Justinian the roman

emperor considered it 6% anything over

6% most people don't realize that a lot

of people in these pay day things are

paying sometimes 50% interest what the

bankers did is that they studied all of

the states and their interest laws and

they found out that Delaware and North

Dakota did not have interest law caps

and so they they put their operation

city cores in North Dakota not in New

York because there's usury laws in New

York huh

South Dakota sorry yeah South Dakota now

what's interesting is that

in smiley versus Citicorp smiley it's a

case that went to the Supreme Court

because they kept changing the rates on

on his his thing and so he actually

tried to see if he could put an end to

it and and the Supreme Court ruled

against smiley for Citicorp which ended

caps on these they used to charge five

dollars for a late fee now their shows

like $35 $40 the poorer you are the more

they charge even John Calvin who

accepted interest did not accept it for

poor people and what you have to

understand is the people that suffer

most are the poor people because they

get the worst rates and this is usury

you see most of you are probably in the

700s in your FICO score which is what

Fair Isaac that's the company that

determines it great Fair Isaac now one

of the things they don't tell you is

that anytime you miss a payment the

reason it suddenly drops is because they

want to raise your interest rates the

system's rigged against you but one of

the things that they have special files

for celebrities judges wealthy people

they don't do it to them because they

don't want these people to get angry and

make advocates the number one complaints

given to the Fair Business Bureau in the

United States is again is against credit

cards number one complaint people are

suffering out there most people don't

understand compound interest they don't

understand how if you pay the minimum

payment if we paid them the national

debt if we started paying it one dollar

a day it would take two hundred eighty

eight thousand years to finally pay it

off and in reality you could never pay

it off because of the nature of interest

so the point here is is you know

obviously companies have to make money

and things like that

renting money is in in the Islamic

tradition it's absolutely forbidden but

usury has always been even in the Muslim

world there's never been a society that

has been completely freed of interest

but there should be at least just rates

just rates and the people that suffer

most again are the poor people and and

we we should

advocates for these people because these

payday loans and people think these are

pawn brokers and schemers most of these

inner-city payday loans are owned by

Wells Fargo Bank of America seriously

it's just like it's it's like Disney you

know Disney has touchstone for their

racy films because they didn't want to

taint the name of Disney this is a very

sophisticated system and what you have

to realize is it's not that you know

they're all evil and is us and them this

is people that are afflicted with states

of being that are very unhealthy they're

not well and and part of what what what

you know just laws are to regulate

people from their own bad nature