Washington, DC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/02/2015 --BENNETT: Chris Duane is the founder of the Sons of Liberty Academy, as well as the author of the book Thrivalist: How To Survive After The Collapse. Chris is also a U.S. Marine and a venture capitalist, which made him a self-made millionaire by age 30. He has a YouTube channel that has received more that 21 million views since launching three years ago. Chris, welcome to Financial Myth Busting.
DUANE: Thank you for having me on.
BENNETT: Before we get into the current events, I want to talk bit about your back story, so my listeners have a better idea about who you are. You were a millionaire by the age of 30, and then doubled your wealth many times over during the Great Recession. Can you give some details as to how you did so well early on, and then your strategy during the recession? I know that's one of the things everybody's trying to grapple with, is how to continue to make money in the type of economy we're in, which I believe is a recession.
DUANE: I was a part of a family business that was very successful, and I'm the second generation. And I saw in 2005 that the economy was too good. I woke up very wealthy and wondered why things weren't always this way, and it actually scared me. And it made me start questioning how things were so good. I mean, the property value of my house had doubled in three years, our sales were going through the roof, and I started to question that reality, and what I found scared me, saved me, and ultimately it made me a lot of money. I found that our entire economy is built off of debt, and that our money is actually debt, and it was a weird thing for me to have so much of it and have very little understanding of the very nature of our money, and this is something that your listeners have got to understand; every dollar that comes into existence is backed by a dollar's worth of debt plus interest. Not one dollar comes into the economy that isn't backed by somebody's debt, whether it's a treasury bond, your credit card, mortgage payments. And when debt is created, money is created, and when debt is paid off, money is destroyed. That's why our federal government's debt continues to grow at an exponential rate. That's why student loan debts, corporate debt; all these debts keep growing and we don't understand why. Well, that is because our monetary base is growing. So I saw in 2005 that the only reason why the economy was doing well was because there were so many baby boomers taking out so many mortgages, buying all these investment properties—it was creating a lot of money and it was flowing through the economy, to the restaurants and businesses and through the regular economy. But I saw that it was unsustainable, because I saw that at some point, I couldn't even afford to buy the house that I had bought four years ago, because the property prices had gone up so much, because everybody was doing it. And it was as a direct result of the Federal Reserve, which is a privately owned bank. This is another thing that your listeners have got to understand; it is not part of the government, it is not beholden to the government. It's a group of privately owned banks that sets the monetary policy for our country. It's because they drove the interest rates down low, and let all their banking lending standards go lax, and let anybody into the game. And we know what happened. So the reason why I made so much money before is because I was a part of this debt-based Ponzi scheme that had been growing. I recognized that things were growing too good, and I got out. I sold everything. I sold all my stocks, I sold my house, I sold my business. I got out, and I invested everything into gold and silver, because I just looked, and what else could I put it into? And trust me, none of my business partners or my family was happy that I did all this stuff, but it was the ultimate deciding factor in making me financially independent now. And I'm warning your listeners now; we're on the exact verge of the exact same scenario playing out again, only this time instead of being confined to the United States, it's going to be global.
BENNETT: I don't know if the listeners realize, but about a week and a half ago the Fed quietly revised their total U.S. debt from 330 percent to 350 percent of GDP. Did you see that, Chris?
DUANE: No, but I'm not surprised.
BENNETT: They discovered another $2.7 trillion in debt. And here's the odd thing; nobody's talking about. Literally nobody in the broader public is saying a word, and of course, any of the official institutions surrounding it, they're not saying anything either. And then here we have the S&P back over 2000 again.
DUANE: Oh, and how about this for a fact? I mean, your listeners can look this up; the United States federal debt has been frozen since March at $18.2 trillion. We literally have had it frozen for months, and nothing seems to happen. And the reason why is because the people who do know profit off of it. They don't want to upset the scheme, because as soon as people start to realize that this is a generational debt-based Ponzi scheme, individuals will start doing what they need to do, which is to start looking at the system, realizing it's wholly unsustainable and ends up funding wars and generational debt slavery, all this other stuff, and ultimately pull themselves out. And that's exactly what would happen with Bernie Madoff. I mean, people start pulling out, and all of a sudden there isn't enough to go around. So this is an unsustainable system that has been built on debt, on the backs of now four generations of Americans, going back to the Great Depression—the Federal Reserve was founded in 1913—and it's not sustainable. Look at our children, our grandchildren, the amount of debt that they have at such an early age. I mean, what of sick society would load $1.3 trillion worth of student loan debt onto young kids who have not entered the workforce for useless college degrees for an economy that's doomed to fail? It all must end.
BENNETT: Yes, it needs to end, but unfortunately I think it's going to end in a very difficult situation for us.
DUANE: It has to, yes. But it's only difficult if you're in the system, and my experience in 2008; you know, I didn't dance between the raindrops or anything like that, but the very fact that I was mentally prepared for this, saw it coming, realized what was going to happen, and then took action ahead of the time, by unloading my house that still-- even 10 years now, it's still not worth what it was, what I sold it for back then. But getting rid of stuff that you don't need; you don't need the vacation property, you don't need the extra car, you don't need money in the stock market. I mean, why anybody's got money in the stock market when you know of the high frequency trading that's going on and the games that are going on there, the flash crashes... What did we dump, 1,000 points in a few minutes two months ago? I mean, you really want your life savings tied into a casino like that?
BENNETT: It's interesting, you talked about how they haven't updated the debt figure since March of 2015. Now, that was the total credit market instruments, and actually the debt came over to $59 trillion, and again, that would be 330 percent of the U.S. GDP, which is just astonishing.
DUANE: It's actually much worse than that—
BENNETT: You think?
DUANE: Because even those numbers don't take into consideration the unfunded liabilities that we have promised generations of all these people. Laurence Kotlikoff, who's at a Boston University, estimated - and this is probably three or four years ago - that the unfunded liabilities - this is what has been factored into all these social security, Medicare programs, 88 million baby boomers entering into their golden years, so to speak - is $240 trillion. Folks, our economy is, what, $16 trillion? And the majority of that is based off of consumerism. 70 percent of the economy is built off of consumerism. Another 20 percent of that is built off of government spending. There's only 10 percent of this economy that actually produces anything of real, tangible value.
BENNETT: I think a lot of times when people like you or me, we start talking or writing about a major crash, a major correction coming, they are often written off as conspiracists or even kooky, right? But sometimes the data really does make it clear a crisis is coming. Do you have any suggestions for the Financial Myth Busting listeners as to how they can help spread this kind of information around to protect other Americans, without coming off as unhinged?
DUANE: No. In fact, the best way to go is the opposite way. My YouTube channel-- and I've got 1,000 videos on there; you can spend a lifetime looking at all the stuff, but one of my most popular videos is called The Five Stages of Awakening. So when you wake up this reality, that the world is not what we think, that our schools don't educate us to think; they indoctrinate us to follow orders, that our monetary system's based off of debt, and it has nothing to do with creating wealth, that power's getting aggregated into smaller and smaller, very powerful privately-held hands, that the political system's a total farce, there is no choice, there's one party and it's the one that creates more debt, more war, and less liberty for us. It's a rigged game. The video that I put together is called The Five Stages of Awakening, and the majority of humanity is in denial. It's scary to think that the government doesn't represent us, that there are banking interests that do control the fates of nations; it's scary, and most people don't want to look at it, and they're in denial, and that's the first stage. The second stage is when you wake up, and it's the anger phase. That's when you wake up and go, 'No, no, no; these guys aren't crazy. This is absolutely true, and I've wasted my entire life chasing an illusion, and I'm very upset, because everything I've been taught is a lie.' And that's when people go into the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street and ruin Christmas parties talking about Federal Reserve and trying to get their friends and neighbors to see what they see, and it ultimately ends up pushing all these people who are in denial away from the truth. Then you get into the bargaining phase, where you think, 'Well, there's got to be some solution. If I just join the right group or do something, I'll find a way out.' And inevitably, they're all led to the same road; there is no way out. And that leads you into depression, because now you've talked to everybody, you've tried to do something positive, there's no way out, and you're depressed. But the final stage is what I'm recommending people cut to the chase is recognize the world is screwed up, recognize that these things are true, and do positive, productive things in your own personal lives, and accept the world the way it is, and do things in your best interest. Now, that may sound selfish, but I'm telling you from my own experience, from doing this for 10 years, that if you are able to comprehend the information that you and I talk about, process it, realize that there isn't any collective effort and that the only way out is for the individual to recognize the world as it is and take positive, productive action into three areas; get into real skills, start learning how to create real wealth-- you know, like I mentioned before, 70 percent of the economy's built off of consumerism, which is shoving paper, products, and people around, and not actually producing any real wealth. Follow your passion. Chances are when you were a child, you actually had an interest that probably didn't account for accounting and all those things that we pass off as jobs now. Get into real friends. Get off of Facebook. My most popular video, which I over a million views on, is called Delete Facebook, because we don't have any real friends anymore. You need to narrow your life down to the three or four really important people in your life, and share a lot of time with them. And if that's just your family, if that's just your one friend, so be it. I'd rather have one real friend than 1,000 fake followers on Facebook. And then number three is get into real wealth. Recognize that every single asset out there that's popularized in the media is nothing more than a debt-based counterparty risk paper asset that is built on a generational debt-based Ponzi scheme; this includes your stocks, bonds, 401ks, pensions, IRAs, even real estate. If not for 3%, 4% loans for 30 years, your house would not be worth what it is today. When the stock market crashes, when this whole Ponzi scheme starts coming down, your house is not going to be this asset; it's going to be a tremendous noose around your neck. And I highly recommend, after you get through a lot of these videos, silver is the only place that I put my wealth in.
BENNETT: Let's talk a little bit about silver. You know, in our foggy memory of 1965, that was the last year most Americans believed that a dollar would buy the same amount of goods and services the following year. You remember the truism, 'sound as a dollar'? But of course that truism isn't around today, and what reminded me about this is silver. 50 years ago, the dollar was shaky, but fairly sound and still linked vaguely to gold, even though Americans couldn't legally own gold bars and or gold coins, and the coinage was mostly real silver back then; the content was full silver. Then the government announced that it would hoard its silver and issue coins made of less valuable metals. What's interesting to me is the government can move quickly when something valuable's at stake, as when they confiscated the gold and stopped actually making things out of silver. 'Sound as a dollar' is kind of a joke today. I think the dollar's lost over 90 percent of its value in the last 50 years, but silver and gold have not.
DUANE: Yes. So to use your starting point, 1964 was the last year that we had 90% silver in our dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars, you know, the silver dollar coins. And ever since then, they put out these Chuck E. Cheese slugs and said that it's got the same face value. So an individual boomer back in the day remembers that gas was probably about 25 cents back then, meaning that a 25 cent silver piece would buy you a gallon's worth of gas. But what's interesting is if you look at the silver content value of that same 25 cent silver piece, it's still worth about a gallon of gas, even though the price of gas has gone up and is now around $2.50.
BENNETT: Chris, you run something called the Silver Shield Group. What is that?
DUANE: Oh, it's a very small group of people who've been following me for a very long time, and we discuss issues that go far deeper than all this stuff. Because all this stuff eventually gets into consciousness and why we're here, a lot of big issues. So it's a very small group, but we follow that issue, and then I also have my own private line of silver coins that I've designed called Silver Shield. We've been doing it for four years, and basically I set out images that are counter to what is popularized by the government. So some of my famous designs-- on the back of all the Canadian coinage, England, Australia, New Zealand is the Queen of England, and my most popular design about her is called Slave Queen, that basically tells the story about how the British Empire invaded 9 out of the 10 countries in this world and spread debt and death all over the place, and yet, we somehow hold this lady up to this high esteem, and yet, I try to break it down with a lot of the images that I do on these coins.
BENNETT: If this correction that we're heading into is going to be so huge and so historically significant, why aren't we seeing any of the presidential candidates discussing it? I'm not even seeing any stories about it. What's your take on that?
DUANE: Number one, I really think that at this point now, we have economists who don't know anything about the economy anymore, politicians who don't understand statesmanship, CEOs that don't understand what innovation really is. We're four generations into this, and it's like asking a fish, 'What's water?' They don't know. Academia only teaches Keynesian economics in all their schooling. Our medical system only teaches how to treat the problem, and not find what causes cancer. They'd much rather spend tens of thousands of dollars giving you chemo, radiation, and all that other stuff, instead of realizing that cancer is fully preventable, if we had a healthy environment that we lived in. So as far as our politicians, they're part of it; they're bought and paid for. Every single one of them understands this. I met Ron Paul, who was somebody who actually championed a lot of these ideas, three months before he ended his last presidential campaign, in his office, and my question to him—this guy who's libertarian, you know, honest money, get us out of all these wars and all this other stuff—I said to him, to his face, I said, 'Why are we even involved in this? People should not be voting, they should not be banking in the system, they should not be consuming in the system, because ultimately it's keeping the game going.' And I asked Doctor Paul, 'Mahatma Gandhi was a lawyer, a barrister in the British Empire, and actually fought for justice inside the British legal system for many years in South Africa, and it wasn't until he walked away from the system did he become historically significant and ultimately lead the Indians to expelling the British from their lands.' And my question to him was, 'Why are we playing this game? Why are we voting for president? Why are we using all this time, energy, and resources into doing this? Wouldn't it be far better for people to just walk away?' and his response was, 'Well, de facto nullification's coming, and I have another meeting to go to.' And it wasn't until that day that I realized that we have all these collectivist messiahs out there, like Donald Trump now, perfect example; he gets all these people going, 'Oh, yeah, right, Donald!' They're never going to change the system. The operating system will never change. The bureaucracy that's been built up in Washington will never change. No matter who you vote into power, the debts will continually get larger, the wars will continually spread. I don't care who gets into office, so don't pay attention to it and don't play into their game.
BENNETT: At Financial Myth Busting, we are non-partisan and non-dogmatic. I mean, we don't believe that the government is inherently good or inherently bad; we actually believe that each government has to be analyzed to determine its degree of honesty or corruption. To that point and to what you're saying, Gallup came out with a poll last month where they found that 75 percent of Americans said that they believe corruption is widespread in the United States government.
DUANE: This is another factor we talk about later on, because most people wake up to the political and financial matters, and then realize it's also religion and all these other things. But what ends up happening is we start to realize that it's really a battle of those that want to be left alone and those that won't leave you alone. And you start to realize that you, as an individual, are probably a regenerative, abundant, natural person. You're caring, you're empathetic, you want to do what's best for you and your family and take care of your friends and neighbors; you mean no ill to other people. But then you start to realize that there's a lot of people out there who like sticking their fingers in your life, and this comes in the form of maybe a police officer or a DMV clerk, or local school board or your neighborhood home owner's association, or the boss at work, or the governor, or the president, the CEO, the bank. You know, you've got all these guys that rise to collective power, and if you play their game, you're bound to lose.
BENNETT: Chris, I want to thank you so much for being on Financial Myth Busting.
DUANE: Thank you.
All data sourced through Bloomberg
Securities offered through Western International Securities, Inc., Member FINRA & SIPC. Bennett Group Financial & Western International Securities, Inc. are separate and unaffiliated companies.
About Dawn Bennett
Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com
She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.
She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett.